Last week, SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket in operation. It was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The payload was the car of SpaceX’s founder and CEO Elon Musk, a red Tesla Roadster with a dummy called Starman behind the wheel. The launch was more than successful and now the car is leaving the orbit. Today on Valentine’s Day we are bidding a final goodbye to Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster.
After being in space for a week now, the car will dim out of the view of smaller telescopes as it’s leaving Earth’s orbit. Falcon Heavy, the rocket that sent the car into space can generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust on liftoff. That is equivalent of 18 jumbo jets.
Musk originally posted a tweet saying that as a result of the successful third burn, the car will be headed towards the asteroid belt. However, according to the report by The Verge, Musk’s estimate is premature. Apparently, the car will reach roughly 160 million miles from the sun, which is not enough to reach the asteroid belt, as it begins at roughly 200 million miles from the sun.
On Wednesday at 7:15 ET, you will be able to say a final goodbye to Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster, and watch the car leave towards deep space thanks to the live stream by the Virtual Telescope Project. The astrophysicist of VTP was quoted by Newsweek: “As of now, the Tesla is gradually leaving us – constantly fading. In a couple of weeks or so, it will require large telescopes to be seen.”
Since the rocket overshot the expected goal set by the company, the car will head out beyond the orbit of the Red Planet. Masi and his colleague Michael Schwartz were observing with the telescope and found the car from the Tenagra Observatories in Arizona. The car is visible as a tiny dot which is surrounded by too many stars to count, and within a few days if not weeks, only large telescopes will be capable of capturing it.
Elon Musk stated in his tweet that his personal red Tesla Roadster with a dummy in a space suit called “Starman” will travel through deep space for more than a billion years. The car is supposed to reference the song of the same name, that of “Starman,” played by David Bowie.
Masi told Newsweek that on Monday at noon ET, the sports car was roughly 1.1 million miles away, which is roughly five times the distance to the moon.
“Looking at its orbit, the greatest distance between the Earth’s and Tesla Roadster’s orbits is around 250 million miles,” Masi explained.
For those who support SpaceX this will be the last chance to see and say goodbye to Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster for some time.
“We will have to wait for decades before the Tesla will have an interesting, new close approach with the Earth, so these days truly are a precious opportunity for those wishing to see the Tesla.”