Elon Musk's car is traversing the solar system. The company behind the venture, SpaceX, shared an image on Saturday showing how the "Starman" in Musk's red cherry Roadster, released on a Heavy Falcon in February, went beyond Mars and is ready to go back to its current path .
The update is a reminder that eight months after the company launched the car in space, it is still embarking on its dramatic adventure. The initial mission sent Musk's personal electric car into space, with a space suit in the driver's seat and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" looping. On the dashboard is a reference for Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxies in the form of a "Do not panic" sticker. The car also includes a "5D quartz laser storage device … a high-tech data storage unit that can survive the hostile environment of space," said Isaac Asimov Foundation trilogy of books.
See more: SpaceX launches "Foundation" books of Isaac Asimov in deep space
The website WhereIsRoadster.com, developed by the self-described space nerd Ben Pearson, shows that the car is currently about 179 million miles from Earth and drifting away at a speed of about 35,000 mph. The site also humorously states that the car exceeded its 36,000-mile guarantee around 10,000 times during its journey around the sun, amassing a total of 370 million miles. That's enough to cross all the roads in the world 16 times.
Falcon Heavy's successful flight marked the start of operations of the world's most powerful rocket in current use, with the ability to send a payload of 140,700 pounds into the Earth's low orbit and 58,900 pounds into the geostationary orbit. The whole thing weighs more than three million pounds, or about the same as 316 hippos.
The rocket could soon be surpassed by the company's next rocket, the BFR, scheduled to begin jumping tests at the Boca Chica factory next year, ahead of a planned mission to Mars.
With "Starman" orbiting the sun every 557 days, successor rocket jump tests could occur even before the car completes an orbit.
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