The Tesla space roadster has become one of the most significant technological icons of the 21st century. However, the advanced vehicle has become somewhat of a mystery since it has not returned from Earth. Fortunately, scientists can gauge where it currently is in our atmosphere.
The Tesla space roadster is speculated to be floating near Mars at the moment. However, it’s expected to collide with the Sun or Venus within the next 10 million years.
The following article is a brief history of the Tesla roadster and some theories on where it is. It also includes information about when, or if, it will come back to Earth in the next few million years.
Where Is the Roadster Now?
While it’s a little difficult to pinpoint exactly where the roadster is, scientists have a general idea of the car’s location. The roadster is closest to the planet Mars at the moment, with about 96.1 million miles between them. Based on the current route it’s traveling through, the roadster is expected to crash into Venus or the Sun.
There’s about a 2.5 percent chance of the roadster crashing into either of them, and the crash isn’t likely to happen until a million or so years in the future. Even if the roadster ends up not crashing into the sun or Venus, it won’t survive in space forever.
The roadster isn’t expected to survive in space for tens of millions of years. Since it’s such a small object, the atmospheric pressure will eventually become too great for it. Once it’s been in space long enough, it will burn up and become dust in the atmosphere.
Will The Roadster Come Back to Earth?
The only other option the roadster has, aside from crashing or burning up, is to come back to Earth. However, scientists aren’t exactly sure when or even if the roadster will return to Earth.
The majority of scientists think that the roadster is set on a path to come back to Earth in the future. With the route it’s currently traveling, it’s expected to be back on Earth sometime within the next 10 million years. Scientists still aren’t sure where it will land, so there isn’t really a way to prepare for its return.
But of course, a lot can happen within 10 million years. Within that time, the roadster could land on Mars. If that occurs, there’s no telling if scientists will be able to figure out a way to bring it back to Earth. The boosters have already separated from the entire rocket, and there might not be enough fuel in the rocket’s engine to bring it back to Earth.
There’s also the possibility of the roadster crash landing on Mars. If it doesn’t survive the crash, then it won’t be able to come back to Earth. With so many possible outcomes for the roadster, it’s difficult for scientists to be sure if it will come back to Earth at all.
The Roadster Is Speculated to Come Close To Earth in 2091
Scientists speculate that the roadster won’t land back on Earth until 10 million years in the future. However, the roadster is likely to have a close encounter with Earth in the year 2091. The roadster will likely pass closely in front of the moon, but it won’t be too visible. The only way we’ll be able to see it is with a powerful telescope, which NASA has at its disposal.
Once the roadster passes by Earth, it will likely resume its route. It’s unlikely that we will see the roadster again until it decides to crash land back on Earth. But some scientists think the roadster’s trajectory will change over time, and it will fly by Earth again. There are a lot of factors to consider when figuring out where the roadster will go, and when it will get there. As a result, it’s route and destinations aren’t set in stone. The roadster might be visible from Earth sooner or not even visible at all in 2091.
Can I Track the Tesla Roadster?
Scientists aren’t the only ones who can track the roadster. There is now an app available for you to track the roadster from your phone. The most popular app for tracking the roadster is called Sky Safari 6. All you have to do is download the app on your phone and search “Tesla” in the app’s search bar.
The roadster should come up in the search options, along with its location and route. Another popular app for tracking the Tesla space roadster is called Star Walk 2. This app will show where the Tesla roadster is, but it’s a bit harder to find since it lists the roadster under “satellites”. But once you find it, you’ll be able to track the roadster from your phone.
Brief History of The Tesla Space Roadster
The Tesla space roadster was first launched in February of 2018. It was one of Elon Musk’s own personal Tesla cars, a Tesla Model S to be specific. The car was strapped to a rocket ship created by SpaceX, a company that Musk also owns.
The rocket ship was named the Falcon Heavy, and SpaceX considered the launch risky for a number of reasons. The two main factors that Elon Musk considered risky were the booster separation process and the impact of the rocket’s 27 engines.
The Falcon Heavy rocket consisted of three core booster systems, each of which would detach from the rocket as it launched into space. The booster system was tested numerous times on the ground, but never in the air. Musk worried the booster system would malfunction, causing them to come loose too early or too late.
If the boosters didn’t make it powerful enough, the rocket was also fashioned from three separate Falcon 9 rockets. All of these rockets had 3 engines each, so the rocket ended up having 27 engines all together. Musk was concerned that the energy from the engines would cause the boosters to knock against each other as they separated.
What Was the Purpose of The Tesla Space Roadster?
Since the risks presented such catastrophic consequences, Musk decided to send something relatively unimportant into space as a dummy test load. He settled on his own Tesla Model S roadster, one of the earliest Tesla cars produced. The car was strapped to the rocket and launched into space. Musk made history by sending the first car into space, where it remains to this day.
In a way, the Tesla space roadster even has a driver. Musk dressed a crash test dummy in a spaceman suit and strapped it to the driver’s seat of the Tesla Model S. The dummy, known as “Starman” among Musk and his team, has been sitting at the Tesla’s steering wheel since it launched.
The dummy driver doesn’t serve much of a purpose aside from being a humorous addition to the Tesla launch. The roadster, however, did have a purpose aside from being the first car in space. Musk wanted to demonstrate that the Falcon Heavy rocket was able to transport cars into space, with his own serving as the test load. Even though the roadster might not come back to Earth, it served its historical purpose.