One year ago, on Feb. 6, SpaceX blasted a Falcon Heavy rocket into space and sent Elon Musk’s personal Tesla roadster off on a journey through the cosmos to the tune of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, with a spacesuit-wearing Starman dummy at the wheel.
The Where is Roadster? tracker shows the car on almost the opposite side of the sun from Earth as of Feb. 6, 2019.
Programmer Ben Pearson runs the Where is Roadster? website, dedicated to tracking the Tesla’s trip around the sun. Let’s check in to see the latest stats.
According to Pearson’s calculations as of Wednesday morning, the electric car is 226,423,581 miles (364,393,544 km) from Earth and 163,525,522 miles (263,168,899 km) from Mars.
Getting humans to the Red Planet is one of Musk’s goals for SpaceX’s under-development Starship spacecraft, but the Roadster won’t actually run into Mars.
Good luck getting any repairs done on the Roadster. It’s exceeded its original 36,000-mile warranty more than 13,000 times over.
If the battery is miraculously still working against all odds, then Starman has listened to Space Oddity over 99,000 times. Talk about an earworm.
We’ll have to wait until 2091 for the car to make a predicted close encounter with Earth. Maybe SpaceX will send a Starship then to go pick up Roadster and bring it back home.
Then we’ll get to see if Starman survived the harsh conditions of space, or if it turned into a sentient creature worthy of a Star Trek episode.