Privacy Policy Create Site Map

What Ever Happened To The Tesla In Space? Explaining The Outer Space Oddity

The Tesla in Space: Road-Tripping Around the Sun
The Tesla in Space: Road-Tripping Around the Sun

Updated April 09th, 2020

Sports cars have always been a must-have plaything for rich playboys, and more than one eccentric billionaire has promised to start an airline blasting rocket ships into outer space. So, now the Silicon Valley CEO and SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, had to go ahead and combine the two.

No, You Didn't Dream It — There Is a Tesla In Space

Seriously, Musk live-streamed the inaugural three, two, one ... lift off of the Falcon Heavy rocket's maiden journey on SpaceX news. However, the blast of the state of the art rocket into outer space wasn't enough for the CEO. Fixed atop the Falcon Heavy monster rocket was Musk's very own, midnight red roadster, essentially launching the Tesla in space. Not only that, an astronaut mannequin named Starman has been driving the roadster around outer space for the last 18 months. 

Wait, Are You Serious?

100% serious. The $100,000 convertible Tesla is cruising around the solar system at a speed of a few thousand miles an hour, faster than most fighter jets. After a trip around the galaxy, the roadster has surely voided its warranty, and the Tesla in space is definitely not licensed at the International Space Station's DMV.

An anonymous fan of the Falcon Heavy rocket and the Tesla in space has done noble work, launching to track its movements. In 12 months, Starman and the convertible had "driven" more than a million miles, or 760 million kilometers. The roadster loops the sun in about 557 days and has journeyed in outer space past Mars and will probably go further than Venus and Mercury.
Where Can You See It From? 

You won't be able to see the Tesla in space with a backyard telescope; it's too far away. However, in 2091, the roadster might loop back around near enough to earth to be visible by a super-powerful telescope on a mountain, like the Pan STARRS telescope in Hawaii. 

That's only if it hasn't been decimated into shrapnel. The car is constantly hit by micrometeorites, cosmic rays and solar radiation. The sheer, unrelenting power of all of this could destroy the leather seats, plastic handles and fabric sinews, reducing the car to a tiny aluminum frame says a chemistry expert from Indiana University, William Carroll. 

No one knows how long Starman and the roadster will cruise through space. Experts astrophysicists at Cornell University have speculated on the chances of the car colliding with earth, the sun or other planets in the next 1 million years. For now, the roadster is drifting beyond Mars. (For more space info, please click here.)


Featured Podcasts