One year ago today on February 6, 2018, Elon Musk and SpaceX successfully launched their Falcon Heavy rocket and propelled a Tesla Roadster and its sole occupant, the daring mannequin affectionately known as the Spaceman, into space where the duo has remained to this day on their wild orbit around the sun.
As Space reports, the Tesla Roadster is currently traveling along an elliptical path that will take the electric car far beyond Mars, just as distant as it can get from the sun, while also bringing it along the closest solar approach when it drifts near the orbit of Earth.
Last year at the start of November, the Tesla Roadster pushed well beyond the orbit of Mars and according to Ben Pearson, who very cleverly built the Where Is Roadster website, both Spaceman and the Roadster are right now 163,525,522 miles (263,168,899 km) away from Mars and 226,423,581 miles (364,393,544 km) away from us here on Earth.
Assuming any repairs needed to be conducted on Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster, the Starman would be well out of luck as the electric car has officially gone over its 36,000-mile warranty not just one time, but a stunning 13,000 times over the past year.
And if the Roadster’s battery is still functioning today, this would mean that the Starman has so far listened to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” a total of at least 99,000 times since it first began its journey one year ago today.
According to the Where Is Roadster website, Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster should stay rooted where it is in space for quite some time now as its period of orbit has been estimated to be approximately 557 days.
The Roadster should also eventually be making several very large laps around the sun before it and the Starman reach the conclusion of their daring journey.
After conducting orbit-modeling studies, scientists have explained that the Tesla Roadster will eventually smash into either Earth or Venus, finally ending its adventures on one of these planets. However, this won’t be occurring for a long time as scientists estimate that this will take tens of millions of years to occur.
However, there is still a small, six percent chance that the Roadster will crash into Earth within just 1 million years, with a slightly lower and 2.5 percent risk that it may also careen into Venus during this same time frame.
While Elon Musk has previously stated that the Tesla Roadster was launched into space for fun, the Falcon Heavy which launched it will be making another trip very soon on its March 7 flight which will see the SpaceX rocket launch the Arabsat 6A communications satellite into orbit.