What Happened To The Tesla ‘Starman’ After SpaceX Launched It Into Space Five Years Ago?
On February 6, 2018, SpaceX made history by launching a Tesla sportscar into space! It was part of their Falcon Heavy rocket’s payload, and for the next five years, its fate has been unknown. In this article, we’ll explore what happened to the “Starman” after it left our planet’s atmosphere and where it is now.
Introduction to the SpaceX Mission
In early 2018, SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster—complete with a spacesuit-clad mannequin nicknamed “Starman” at the wheel—into orbit around the sun. The mission was the first test of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, and it captured the public’s imagination as the car soared majestically into space.
But what happened to Starman after that?
As it turns out, quite a lot.
The Tesla has been orbiting the sun for more than five years now, and in that time it has traveled well beyond its initial orbit. It is currently about halfway to Mars, and on its current trajectory, it will eventually make its way all the way to the asteroid belt.
In other words, Starman is well on his way to becoming a true spacefaring adventurer. Who knows what he’ll find out there?
The Starman’s Journey Through Space
It has been five years since SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster into space with a mannequin at the wheel, and the “Starman” is still out there cruising around our solar system. Here’s what we know about its journey so far.
The Tesla was launched on February 6, 2018, atop a Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The car entered an elliptical orbit around the Sun that took it as far out as Mars and as close to Earth as the orbit of Venus.
Since then, the car has been slowly making its way further out into space. Based on its current trajectory, it will eventually leave our solar system and enter interstellar space.
We don’t know exactly where the Starman is right now, but we can track its general location using data from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. As of March 2020, it was about 154 million kilometers (96 million miles) from Earth, or about four times the distance between Earth and Mars.
At that rate, it would take the Starman about another 18 billion years to reach the nearest star system, Alpha Centauri. But it’s unlikely that the car will survive that long; without regular maintenance, it will probably succumb to space weathering and break apart long before then.
So what happened to the Starman after SpaceX launched it into space five years ago? It’s still out there orbiting the Sun, slowly making its way further into deep space. Someday it
What Happened After Launch?
In 2018, SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster into space as part of the maiden flight of its Falcon Heavy rocket. The car, nicknamed “Starman”, became one of the most famous objects in space.
Since then, Starman has completed more than three orbits around the sun. In November 2020, it passed Mars for the first time. It is currently about 140 million miles (225 million km) from Earth.
The Tesla Roadster is not designed to last forever in space. Its batteries will eventually die and it will start to break down. However, it will likely remain in orbit for millions or even billions of years.
Where Is the Tesla ‘Starman’ Now?
When SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket on February 6, 2018, it carried with it a Tesla Roadster and its driver, nicknamed “Starman.” The Roadster was sent into an elliptical orbit around the sun that would take it as far out as Mars.
As of February 2021, the Tesla Roadster and Starman are still orbiting the sun. Their exact location can be tracked here.
The Tesla Roadster and Starman will continue orbiting the sun for billions of years. Eventually, they will likely succumb to the ravages of time and space, but their legacy will live on forever.
What is its Current Position?
In February of 2018, SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster into space on the maiden flight of their Falcon Heavy rocket. The car, nicknamed “Starman”, was driven by a mannequin dressed in a SpaceX spacesuit and has been orbiting the sun ever since.
Since the launch, Starman has traveled more than 7 million miles and is currently orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. The car is expected to continue its orbit for millions or even billions of years.
While it’s unlikely that anyone will ever retrieve Starman from its current position, it remains an iconic symbol of humanity’s exploration of space.
What Are the Chances of It Reaching Mars?
There are a few factors that need to be considered when thinking about the chances of the Tesla “Starman” reaching Mars. First, it is important to understand the trajectory of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket that carried Starman into space. The rocket followed an elliptical orbit around Earth, with its apogee (highest point) extending beyond Mars’ orbit. This means that there is a chance that Starman could have already crossed paths with Mars, although it is unlikely given the vast distances involved.
Second, it is necessary to consider the effects of solar radiation and other space weather on the Tesla. Starman is encased in a carbon fiber shell, which will offer some protection from solar radiation and other space weathering effects. However, over time these effects will take their toll on the Tesla and could eventually cause it to break down completely.
Finally, it is worth considering the likelihood of collision with another object in space. The probability of this happening is extremely low, but it cannot be ruled out entirely. If Starman were to collide with another object, it is likely that both would be destroyed in the process.
Taking all of these factors into consideration, it seems unlikely that the Tesla “Starman” will ever reach Mars. However, stranger things have happened in space and so anything is possible!
Five years have passed since the launch of SpaceX’s Tesla ‘Starman’ and its journey continues to this day. We may never know what happened to the Starman, but it is likely that the spacecraft will continue orbiting around the Sun for many years to come. While we may not be able to track it exactly, we can still appreciate what an incredible feat SpaceX accomplished by launching a car into space on a rocket ship. The ‘Starman’ has become an iconic symbol of exploration and innovation in our world today, and its legacy will continue long after its disappearance from our sight.