SpaceX launch MAPPED: The STAGGERING journey Starman and the Tesla have taken REVEALED | Science | News

Elon Musk launched a rocket into space on February 6, 2018, from Florida carrying a red Tesla car and a mannequin dubbed Starman wearing a SpaceX spacesuit. David Bowie songs are playing on repeat as the unusual cargo orbits between Mars and Jupiter. The decision for such a unique rocket launch came from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who argued that a launch with metal blocks to weigh it down would be too boring. 

The car itself used to be Mr Musk’s, having been used to drive him to work. 

The vehicle was launched into orbit by SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, on its maiden flight. 

Falcon Heavy will soon carry its first bona fide space vehicle if all goes according to plan. 

According to SpaceX, “the giant rocket’s second flight, which is currently targeted for March 7, will deliver the 6.6-ton (6 metric tons) Arabsat 6A communications satellite to orbit for Saudi Arabia.”

Read More: SpaceX launch: Where is Starman now ONE year AFTER liftoff?

During its year in space, Starman has listened to David Bowie’s Space Oddity in one ear and Life on Mars in the other. 

This means that Space Oddity has played 100,190 times since launch in one ear and Life On Mars has played 135,002 times in the other.

At the time of writing, Starman is 22.6million miles from Earth in the constellation of Aquarius according to tracker skylive. 

It is 14million miles from the Sun and has exceeded its 36,000-mile warranty – 13,270 times while driving around the Sun.

According to SpaceX, “The Roadster is journeying on an elliptical path, which takes it out beyond Mars at aphelion (the most distant point from the sun) and near Earth’s orbit at perihelion (closest solar approach).”

Studies showed Starman is due to make his closest approach to Earth in 2091 when he’ll come within a few hundred thousand miles of the planet.

However, there is a chance there won’t be a lot of him left when this happens.

Starman is now travelling outside of Earth’s magnetic field, so the Starman and his Tesla are being slowly eroded by solar winds and radiation.

Another damage factor will be space debris collisions.

A full orbit around the sun takes 557 days, and this is expected to go for millions of years before the car and its passenger hits Earth or Venus.

Simulations of the spacecraft played out over a three-million-year timespan discovered a probability of the Roadster colliding with Earth or Venus.

The chance of Starman crashing into Earth stands at approximately six percent. 

It is less at 2.5 percent that the car and it’s passenger collides with Venus.

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