SpaceX is revolutionising the next space race – to reach Mars and beyond. Elon Musk’s cutting-edge company has now disrupted decades of NASA hegemony through relentless innovation. SpaceX’s cavalier attitude to convention was last year illustrated with its most memorable stunt to date, when a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launched Elon Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster deep into our solar system.
SpaceX launched Elon Musk’s old Tesla Roadster into orbit around the Sun on February 6, 2018.
And the surreal stunt has led to the Tesla travelling millions of miles past planets in our solar system.
It is believed the Tesla has by now exceeded its original 36,000-mile warranty more than 13,000 times over.
And it is fortunate there are no speed cameras in space, as the Tesla’s top speed relative to the Sun is 75,189 mph (121,005 km/h).
And if the Tesla’s battery remains working, then David Bowie’s Space Oddity will have been played on a continual loop more than 99,000 times.
The Tesla Roadster and its dummy pilot – wearing a spacesuit – were chosen as a playful payload making the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket’s maiden launch.
Elon Musk outlined at the time how a deadweight payload of metal blocks would have been “too boring”.
SpaceX fans can relive the moment Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster blast into space again with THIS video.
Now, a little over after the momentous launch, a team of researchers has determined the Tesla Roadster could well be on a collision path with Earth.
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The Tesla’s probable journey over the next few million years has been mapped out using extremely complex trigonometry.
The space experts have calculated Earth, Venus and the Sun are the three most likely ultimate destinations for the Tesla.
And collisions with Mercury and Mars are the least likely scenario, as is the chance of Jupiter’s gravity catapulting the car out of the Milky Way.
But despite the grim prediction, the odds of Starman crashing into the planet anytime soon are extremely slim.
The team of space researchers suggested a six percent chance of Starman colliding with Earth in the next one million years.
And the scientists also predicted a 2.5 percent chance of the sports car crashing into Venus around the same time.
Orbital dynamics expert Professor Hanno Rein said: “Although we are not able to tell on which planet the car will ultimately end up, we’re comfortable saying it won’t survive in space for more than a few tens of millions of years.”
Elon Musk’s old Tesla sports car will make a close approach of the Earth within 100 years of its 2018 launch.
This should see the Tesla come as close as the Moon to Earth.
The scientific study said: “Using an ensemble of several hundred realisations we were able to statistically determine the probability of the Tesla colliding with the Solar system planets on astronomical timescales.
“Although some of the orbits experience effects due to mean-motion and secular resonances criss-crossing the NEA space, the orbital evolution remains initially dominated by close encounters with the terrestrial planets, in particular Earth, Venus and Mars.
“About half of our 15,000,000 integrations result in a collision with the Earth, Venus, and the Sun.”
Over a period of 15 million years there is a 22 percent chance of Starman hitting Earth and 12 percent chance of it striking Venus.
Fortunately, most meteors are smaller than a car will simply burn- up in the atmosphere as harmless meteors.
And it is highly likely that the Tesla will not survive the rigours of space radiation long enough to ever see the Earth up-close again.