Science

Tesla Roadster launched into space by SpaceX passes Mars

Tesla Roadster launched into space by SpaceX passes Mars”

Elon Musk's cherry-red Tesla Roadster - which the CEO blasted into space back in 2018 aboard SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket - is now doing a flyby near the red planet, according to SpaceX.

SpaceX said on Twitter on October 8, "The Starman, whom we last saw when leaving Earth, made its first close pass to Mars today - it came close to the red planet by 0.05 astronomical units, or about 5 million miles", he said. Tesla Roadster, which SpaceX sent into space with the Falcon Heavy, the world's most powerful rocket, and Starman, which was in it, reached Mars yesterday.

Five million miles is still quite "a long distance", Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told CNN.

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Dowell tracked the rocket using NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Horizons system, which has an accurate trajectory calculated from the Falcon 9's initial orbit as it left Earth. The electric vehicle became the first auto launched into space and the first to orbit the Sun. The auto is expected to be in orbit around the sun in a a slightly off-center path that alternately intersects the orbits of Earth and Mars - for tens of millions of years.

As of Thursday, auto and driver have covered almost 1.3 billion miles (2.1 billion km) in space - far enough to drive all of the roads on Earth more than 57 times over, whereisroadster.com calculated.

Starman got under 5 million miles from the Red Planet. According to scientists, in the next million years, this pair is unlikely to go astray, and ultimately they will collide with either Earth or Venus.



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