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Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster Has Completed A Lap Of The Sun

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Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster Has Completed A Lap Of The Sun

Remember the Tesla Roadster that Elon Musk and his cronies launched into space? Well, you'll no doubt be pleased to learn that it has now completed a first lap around the sun.

According to the website 'Where is Roadster', the electric car that was blasted into space as the cargo of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket has taken just 557 days to circumnavigate our nearest star.

That's a distance of more than 762 million miles and a hell of a lot of plays of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' in the process.

In fact, when they sell you a Tesla Roadster down on earth, it has a warranty of 36,000 miles. So far, it has exceeded that original warranty by a whopping 21,000 times.

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Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX

If you were planning on getting out the telescope to catch a glimpse of Starman floating around up there, you'd better have a pretty good one.

At the minute, Earth is on the other side of the sun to the Tesla and it isn't likely to pass anywhere near us again until November 5th 2020.

Also, in this instance 'anywhere near us' is explained in cosmic terms. In reality it will still be 0.346AU (that's Astronomical Units) from us. About 32.2 million miles, that is.

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A bloody long way away, basically.

Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX

Earlier that month he'll actually pass by Mars a lot closer. In October 2020 the Starman will head past the red planet at a distance of only 0.05AU - that's around 4.6 million miles to you and me.

Beyond that - to quote Elton John's 'Rocketman' - I think it's going to be a long, long, time until the cycle of the Tesla Roadster brings it back around to us.

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It could be as late as 2047 before he comes back anywhere near us after the brief and distant reunion with Earth next November.

Obviously, that doesn't mean that we won't be going out there to say hello. After all, the USA wants to try sending humans on a mission to Mars by 2030.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

SpaceX itself, the company that put the car up there, fancy a dabble into deep space exploration too.

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If you can't see the point of launching a dummy with a space helmet on, sat in a car, into deep space, there is actually method to the madness.

You see, Elon Musk and the SpaceX team wanted to test the capacities of their Falcon Heavy rocket but didn't want to put something very important or expensive into space because of the high chance of failure.

Luckily, the Tesla was jettisoned safely, and is now making a lonesome journey through the heavens.

Godspeed, Starman.

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Featured Image Credit: SpaceX

Topics: Science, World News, Interesting, Technology, Weird, Cars

Tom Wood
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