The Tesla Roadster electric sports car served as the dummy payload for SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket test flight in February 2018. Starman is a mannequin dressed in a spacesuit, who occupies the driver’s seat. The car used to Elon Musk’s, he used it to get to work, and is now, unsurprisingly, the only production car in space.
Assuming the battery still works, Starman has listened to David Bowie for a whole year.
Space Oddity has played 100,190 times since launch in one ear, and Life On Mars has played 135,002 times in the other ear.
A full orbit around the sun is set to take 557 days, which is expected to go for millions of years before eventually hitting Earth or Venus.
Simulations over a three-million-year timespan found a probability of the Roadster colliding with Earth at approximately 6 percent, or with Venus at approximately 2.5 percent.
These probabilities of collision are similar to those of other near-Earth objects.
Studies also showed Starman is due to make his closest flyby of Earth in 2091 when he’ll come within a few hundred thousand miles of the planet.
But there’s a good chance there won’t be an awful lot of him left.
Starman is now well outside of Earth’s magnetic field, so the Starman and his Roadster are being slowly stripped clean by the solar winds and radiation, never mind space debris collisions.
When is the next launch?
On March 2, SpaceX will launch an unmanned mission from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
This will be the first launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, which will be launched on a Falcon 9 rocket.
The Crew Dragon will eventually transport astronauts to the International Space Station.