The Tesla Roadster that launched into space during the first launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket has now flown past the planet Mars. Next week, Starman will arrive at its furthest point from the sun.
SpaceX placed a message on Twitter to let you know where the Tesla Roadster with Starman in it is currently located. The attached diagram shows that the Roadster has now flown past Mars and is on its way to its farthest point in the universe as seen from the sun. That doesn’t mean the space car is flying further and further away, though; due to the orbit around the sun, the Roadster will soon be ‘close’ again.
On the Where Is Roadster website, interested parties can follow the car as it floats through space. The modeled orbits show that the furthest point from the sun will be reached on November 8, at a distance of 248 million kilometers. In November 2020, Starman will again come somewhat close to Earth, at a distance of 52 million kilometers. It’s not until 2091 that the Roadster gets significantly closer, with a distance of less than a million kilometers, something that may be considered close in space terms.
SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy containing founder Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster into the sky on February 6. Because it was a test flight of the Falcon Heavy, no valuable cargo such as a satellite could be transported. As a publicity stunt, Musk therefore decided to shoot his Roadster into the universe.