Where Is the Space Tesla?

Welcome to Thomas Insights — every day, we publish the latest news and analysis to keep our readers up to date on what’s happening in industry. Sign up here to get the day’s top stories delivered straight to your inbox.

SpaceX Falcoln Heavy Rocket

February marked five years since SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, launched his personal Tesla Roadster and the spacesuit-clad mannequin Starman into outer space. While the sportscar was originally a "dummy payload" for the Falcon Heavy's debut space mission, Musk hopes future generations will someday retrieve it and put it in a museum if and when we colonize other planets.

But five years is a long time to travel the cold, unforgiving depths of space. So where is Musk's Tesla now?

The car has been circling the sun in an elliptical path since being launched into orbit. According to the tracking website, whereisroadster.com, the Roadster and its "driver" have, so far, completed just over three revolutions around the sun, traveling more than 2.5 billion miles in space. At the time of its launch anniversary, the car was positioned approximately 203 million miles from Earth.

Unfortunately, there has been little contact with the vehicle in the weeks following its launch, so it's difficult to say precisely where the Roadster is or if it's still in one piece. It's possible the car may have been severely damaged by space debris or corroded by cosmic radiation. The current location data is simply an estimate based on the car's trajectory.

What fate awaits the red Tesla and its driver remains to be seen. 

Image Credit: SpaceX

What Does Space Smell Like?Next Story »

More from Daily Bite