So it’s been a year since Starman the mannequin was launched into space in his cherry red Tesla Roadster with Hot Wheels model Tesla on the dash.
The car is 226 million miles from Earth now. There is a really cool website run by Programmer Ben Pearson that counts Starman’s distance as he travels at 3,651 miles per hour. Check out the location plot YouTube video on the site as well. https://www.whereisroadster.com/
Starman is in an elliptical orbit around the sun, taking him outside of Mars’ orbit.
“Starman faces an endless barrage of micrometeorites, solar radiation and cosmic rays that will gradually rip his ride (and his spacesuit) to bits. While tiny space rocks dent and ding the car from all sides, the harsh energy of stellar radiation will slash through the carbon-carbon bonds that make up most of the car’s plastic, leather and fabric components.” – Live Science
There is little hope that Starman will ever be seen again, let alone retrieved for study.
So what’s Space X up to next with the Falcon Heavy that launched Starman?
SpaceX is gearing up for its first launch with a paying customer.
“The Arabsat 6A mission with the Saudi Arabian communication satellite is slated to launch from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A no earlier than March 7, according to filings with Federal Communications Commission, although the window for that launch is a big one, six months through Sept. 7.” – Orlando Sentinel
Don’t forget there is also the BFR to build and launch as well which has been renamed to Starship and Super Heavy for the two parts that make it up. Design for the ship has changed multiple times. – Space.com