Elon Musk's Space Roadster
On February 2, 2018, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, chose to launch his red Tesla Roadster into space, atop the maiden flight of that company's Falcon Heavy rocket. It carried a mannequin named “Starman” dressed in a space suit and the car’s dashboard screen displayed the message “Don’t Panic” while David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” played on the car’s sound system.
Some might find this a bit odd…others think it’s kind of intriguing while others still think it’s a monumental waste of a cool car. Whatever the public opinion, one thing is absolutely true: the stunt generated a huge amount of interest in SpaceX and its new generation of a launch vehicle, a rocket that is now the most powerful rocket now operational. For its first flight, a weighted payload was necessary, and typically, NASA would have used concrete blocks to simulate the weight of cargo. It was a risky flight, and Musk quipped that the first object it would launch would be “the silliest thing we can imagine.” So, he chose his personal Roadster.
Ever wonder what happened to it? Well, there’s a website for that. www.whereisroadster.com was created to give those interested an up-to-date star-date log on the Roadster’s trek through space. The original idea was that the Roadster would orbit Mars, but an overly-ambitious engine burn of its rocket has put it on a deeper-space trajectory. It might come back, though. Predictions give the Roadster a six percent chance of eventually crashing back to Earth…in three million years.