It has barely been two weeks since SpaceX successfully launched world’s most powerful operational rocket — Falcon Heavy into space. The rocket had an unconventional payload onboard. Instead of sending something boring like a satellite, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk sent his Tesla Roadster into space with a mannequin wearing a spacesuit — the ‘Starman’.
The Roadster was supposed to travel towards the orbit of Mars, but its powerful rockets boosted more than they should have, sending the car off its intended path and towards the asteroid belt.
Right now, the Roadster is traversing through the dark and cold vacuum of deep space, trying to find its way back to the orbit of Mars. As it hurtles through space, we cannot help but wonder — where is Starman right now?
That concern is shared by a website that is tracking each and every second of Starman’s trip (yep, there’s no forgetting Musk’s hippy Roadster just yet). The site called ‘Where Is Roadster’ is keeping tabs on Starman’s journey.
At the time of writing this article, Tesla Roadster was 3,917,369 km from the Earth, 219,505,244 km from Mars and 148,521,889 km from the Sun. But if you visit the site right now, the figures will be drastically different as it is moving away from the Earth at a speed of 12,196 km/hour and towards the red planet at a speed of 69,707 km/hour.
Interestingly, the site has nothing to do with Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX, or even NASA. But on the flipside, the site was tweeted out by Musk himself who even joked about Roadster’s parking space (pun intended).
I’m sure it’s parked around here somewhere …https://t.co/cq4LEhu4qD
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 18, 2018
Funny thing is that the site also points out that the car has exceeded its 36,000-mile warranty 668.9 times while driving around the Sun. It’s probably the only car in the world..correction..universe to have covered that distance.
In case you’re wondering how the website is tracking Starman’s every move, the answer is pretty simple. It is using data from NASA’s JPL Horizons to stalk Tesla Roadster.
But will we see Starman ever again? Ben Pearson, the man who is responsible for fueling our curiosity about Starman, told The Verge that Roadster will make its closest pass to our planet in 2091, assuming that it survives the cosmic radiations and chilling conditions in deep space. Good luck seeing Starman the next time!