In February 2018, Elon Musk decided to send a $100k Tesla Roadster to space. The car was aboard the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Now a year after that, the car is still cruising around our solar system. In November 2018 last year, SpaceX confirmed that the car had actually moved past Mars. The company also noted that it’s likely that the car will also be able to fly past Mercury and Venus. At the moment, the car is just too far away to see even with a powerful telescope.
The goal is to have the car travel in an elliptical shape around the sun. Researchers say that it’s likely that the journey will last years and in 2091, if all goes well, the Tesla Roadster will pass close enough to Earth in its elliptical journey. It will be so close that we will actually be able to see it with a telescope. It’s not the first time that something has been sent into space though. We have seen unusual things go up there including AI robots, guitars etc. But a lot of people agree that the Tesla Roadster is probably the most audacious of them all.
The car has a dummy driver on the wheel. It’s now official that the car has traveled further than any other car in history. Estimates show that the distance it has covered so far is equal to driving on all roads in the world 22 times. But a lot of people are still curious to know where it is right now? Well, we really don’t know and SpaceX hasn’t yet released an update. But the car aboard the Falcon Heavy reached and passed Mars in November last year.
Researchers say that, unless something drastic happens to destroy the car and the rocket carrying it, it will orbit the sun for millions of years to come. This sounds crazy but it’s actually possible when you consider that the car is not burning fuel. Its journey through the galaxy has been possible thanks to the Falcon Heavy, one of the largest and perhaps the most powerful space-bound rockets ever built in history.
Sending a Tesla Roadster to space alongside the Falcon Heavy was viewed as a stroke of marketing genius from Elon Musk. It wasn’t necessary to have a car aboard the rocket. But Musk saw an opportunity to take advantage of the rocket launch to popularize Tesla. At the time, the car company which specializes in electric cars was struggling with production and sales targets.
Things are a bit different now though. But the fact that there’s a Tesla in space is something that people will talk about for many years to come. It’s a unique branding strategy that ensures a product or brand is in the public domain for a long time without even spending money. SpaceX is also pioneering space travel and soon, the company is confident that it might be able to send people to Mars for space tourism.