What do you do when you’re a billionaire who owns a car manufacturer and a rocket and spacecraft company? When you’re Elon Musk, you send one of your cars into space for fun.
That’s what Musk did back in 2018 on the inaugural flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket booster.
Since then, the Roadster and Starman have been hurtling through space at more than 15,000km/h (9,500mph). Their speed and trajectory put them on a path towards Mars, and this week came within 0.05 astronomical units of the red planet.
Starman, last seen leaving Earth, made its first close approach with Mars today—within 0.05 astronomical units, or under 5 million miles, of the Red Planet pic.twitter.com/gV8barFTm7
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 7, 2020
According to the website WhereisRoadster.com, that puts the Roadster nearly 37,000,000 miles (59,150,000km) away from Earth.
That’s enough to drive along all of the world’s roads more than 57 times. Not bad for a little electric car.
Here’s the video of the Flacon Heavy launch with the Roadster and Starman tucked inside.