Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster just sailed past Mars
In February, Elon Musk’s private space company, SpaceX, blasted his original Tesla Roadster into space. Crewed by a mannequin named Starman and a playing continuous loop of the David Bowie song Space Oddity, the flying car soared away from earth and into our hearts.
As with anything blasted into space without falling into orbit, the Roadster and its Starman driver keeps sailing through space and, as SpaceX recently tweeted, Starman has just passed Mars.
The “restaurant at the end of the universe” is a reference to Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy sequel. Musk puts much of his ambition down to the series of novels.
However, given Musk’s whimsical approach to inventions – such as his desire to make sweets, the sale of Tesla-branded flamethrowers, and the launch of the Roadster itself – a floating restaurant in space could easily be his next spur-of-the-moment idea. Perhaps in a few years we’ll be able to pull up to a floating diner off Pluto and order SpaceEggs, a Teslatte or some Neuralunch.
For up-to-date information on the life and times of the flying Roadster, the handy website Whereisroadster.com lets you see how far it has flown, what its fuel efficiency is, and how many times Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ has played since it was launched.
The Roadster is expected to return to within a few thousand kilometres of earth by 2091, and a team from the University of Toronto has predicted that it has a significant chance of crashing into Earth in the next 3 million years. Cheers, Elon.
In the meantime, SpaceX has plans to put satellites for the US military in space in 2020 and shoot a Japanese billionaire on a joy-ride around the moon in 2023.