There’s a 10% chance Elon Musk’s Roadster could smash into earth within 3 million years

On February 6, 2018, SpaceX launched a Falcon Heavy carrying a Tesla Roadster into space. The rocket’s two side boosters were successfully landed eight minutes after launch, but it seems the most likely way the red sports car would ever end up back on Earth is with a crash.

There’s a 10% chance Elon Musk’s Roadster could smash into earth within 3 million years

A team of researchers from the University of Toronto has performed multiple simulations to determine the likely path of the vehicle over the coming millions of years and found that the probability of it crashing into Earth in next million years is around 6%. After three million years, this figure rises to 11%.

“The orbital evolution is initially dominated by close encounters with the Earth,” explains the study’s abstract. The researchers determined that the first of these close encounters will happen in 2091, but because the car’s path would be significantly influenced by any such events, predicting its long-term fate becomes particularly difficult. For this reason, the researchers ran 240 different simulations in order to come up with the figures above.space_x_launch_falcon_heavy_1

The team also determined the “dynamical lifetime” of the Tesla Roadster to be around 20 million years, but it’s important to take this with a pinch of salt. After all, it will most likely be worn down to “its aluminum frame, and certain glass parts” by radiation long before then, as reported by

Even if the Roadster does defy the odds and stay intact, it’s still not worth losing sleep over the idea of it causing mass destruction to our planet.

“It will either burn up or maybe one component will reach the surface. There is no risk to health and safety whatsoever,” Hanno Rein, one of the study’s authors told

Before the red Tesla turns to dust, you can track its path using the unofficial, but aptly named At the time of writing, the site tells me it’s 2,492,487 miles from Earth, moving away from Earth at a speed of 7,571 miles/hour. That’s not a mileage you’d want to shout about on Gumtree.

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