Things have gotten considerably more complicated for Elon Musk and Tesla in the past few years so right now might be a good time to take a look back at one of the billionaire’s lighter moments.
Somehow, it’s been five years since SpaceX sent Musk’s red Tesla Roadster into space aboard its Falcon Heavy rocket. At the time, the Falcon Heavy was packing three boosters and 27 engines, making it one of the most powerful rockets to ever launch. As the Associated Press pointed out, the rocket was capable of delivering 37,000 pounds of cargo to Mars. But for its first flight, it carried a relatively light and sporty electric vehicle.
“Red car for a red planet,” Musk tweeted at the time.
Now, just more than half a decade later, it’s worth wondering exactly where the Roadster is out in space. Whereisroadster.com has been tracking the approximate trajectory of the vehicle and puts the Roadster at about 203 million miles from Earth and heading in an orbit back toward Earth at a speed of 6,816 miles per hour.
According to CNN, the Roadster has traveled about 2.5 billion miles through space, mostly within a peaceful vacuum. But in 2020, the car did get within five million miles of Mars.
The Roadster, which presumably is still carrying SpaceX mascot Starman behind the wheel, has racked up many other interesting milestones. Where is Roadster estimates the car exceeded its 36,000 mile warranty more than 70,000 times so far and that it has achieved an estimated fuel economy of more than 20,000 miles per gallon, assuming there’s 126,000 gallons of fuel available. The website also estimates that, if the Roadster’s battery was still working, Starman would have listened to “Space Oddity” and “Life on Mars” by David Bowie more than 1.16 million times combined, since each song was playing on opposite sides of his headphones.