We’re happy to announce that both the cherry red Tesla Roadster and its stoic astronaut driver have safely made it beyond the orbit of Mars.
SpaceX representatives posted today an infographic which shows our friend Starman roaming beyond the orbit of Mars.
Starman’s current location. Next stop, the restaurant at the end of the universe. pic.twitter.com/Ty5m8IjJpE
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 3, 2018
The tweet included “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe”, a nice reference to the fan favourite sci-fi series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy of which Elon Musk is said to be a fan.
In fact, the red Tesla Roadster has another reference to the series: the words “DON’T PANIC!” written on the screen on the dashboard. The phrase famously adorns the cover of the fictional guidebook in the series.
In February, SpaceX test-launched Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket ever used since NASA’s Saturn V rockets, the same ones that took men to the moon during the Apollo era in the 60s.
For the historic test flight, Musk devised an unusual payload: a Red Tesla Roadster “piloted” by a dummy astronaut. David Bowie played on the car stereo, of course.
The ridiculous yet absolutely spectacular stunt was criticised from all quarters at the time.
Sane people thought the move was nothing but a smoke curtain to hide the fact that Tesla had just filed what was, at the time, the biggest quarterly loss in its history.
Not-so-sane people, AKA flat-Earthers, thought the whole thing was part of the universal conspiracy to hide that our planet is not round.
Flat-Earthers went on Twitter in droves to slam the launch, many of them claiming the images were only the product of “bad CGI”.
According to an orbit-modelling study by a team from the University of Toronto Scarborough’s Centre for Planetary Science, Starman will eventually loop back its way to Earth, coming within a few thousand kilometres of our planet in 2091.
The study says it’s likely that within the next tens of millions of years, the car will eventually slam into either Earth or Venus.
If you’re curious about Starman’s cosmic whereabouts in real time, you can head to whereisroadster.com, a website created by Ben Pearson, founder of Old Ham Media.