Elon Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster with a Starman dummy behind the wheel, which was launched into space on the Falcon Heavy rocket in February last year, has already come a long way and flew around our native star in an elliptical orbit.
The launch of the Tesla Roadster into space was just an experiment to demonstrate the capabilities of the SpaceX super-heavy launch vehicle. The electric car was installed on the fairings of the second stage Falcon Heavy. The dummy was dressed in a spacesuit, put in the driver’s seat, fastened and put into low Earth orbit on February 6, 2018. Since then, the roadster has been moving in space at extremely high speed for more than a year and a half – more than 42,000 km/h. Experts say that after a full cycle around the sun, the car went on a rapprochement with our closest neighbor – Mars.
In a couple of months, the electric car will approach Mars at a very close distance (on a cosmic scale) – about 7.5 million kilometers. In theory, Roadster can travel in space for billions of years, if it does not collide with any object.
Meanwhile, SpaceX has already twice successfully launched the Falcon Heavy rocket with a real payload. The first launch with the Arabsat 6A satellite for Saudi Arabia took place in April this year. During the second launch, which took place in June, 24 satellites, research laboratories, a solar sail, an atomic clock with an accuracy of a second per nine million years, capsules with ashes of 152 people and other equipment that was prepared by the US Department of Defense were put into orbit. Two more Falcon Heavy launches are planned for 2020.