Would you believe that there is now a car in space? Of course, that’s hard to believe and you might think it’s fake news but the truth is that there really is a car, a real car, currently in space and heading towards the asteroid belt – and it’s no less than a $100,000 Tesla Roadster!
Who would be crazy enough to send such an expensive car into space, anyway? Well, the answer is eccentric billionaire and Tesla company owner/CEO Elon Musk.
With a net worth of $20.4 billion as of 2018, Musk can easily afford to send more Roadsters into space but people are, of course, question why he would blow so much money on this ‘crazy’ feat. Well, if you own a car company and an aerospace company, why not?
After all, a car has never been sent to space before. By sending a Tesla Roadster into space for the first time, not only did Musk make history for this feat but has also brought the company ‘free’ advertisement that would last for years.
The Roadster came with markings and ‘gifts’ for aliens that might find it. Of course, the aliens have to understand English to read the “Made on Earth by humans” text on the circuit board as well as the digital copy of Isaac Asimov’s science fiction book series, Foundation, inside a ‘nearly indestructible disk’.
‘Driving’ the red Roadster is a dummy, aptly named as the ‘Starman’, wearing a space suit and a full-faced helmet. Because the Roadster is equipped with several cameras, people on Earth will be able to see space from a different perspective and can imagine how space looks through the eyes of a car driver.
View from SpaceX Launch Control. Apparently, there is a car in orbit around Earth. pic.twitter.com/QljN2VnL1O
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 6, 2018
Of course, there were those who thought Musk was crazy for sending an expensive but useless car into space. After all, what would it be doing there except add to more ‘space junk’ later on? Why not send a scientific instrument, instead? Well, Musk has his reasons. His money, his choice.
Musk originally intended for the car to get into an elliptical Earth-Mars orbit but the launch overshoot the car and it’s headed closer towards the orbit of Ceres. Let’s just hope it won’t collide with an asteroid soon, so we can still see photos of space from a car driver’s viewpoint, crazy as that might sound…
Aside from sending the first car into space, Musk also achieved a new milestone in space exploration history: Falcon Heavy was launched with three outer rocket cores, two of which successfully landed back to Earth to be reused in future launches. The third one was supposed to land in a ship somewhere in the ocean but reports confirmed that it failed to land.
Thanks to SpaceX’s new technology, future space explorations wouldn’t be as expensive as they are now. In comparison with the comparable system developed by NASA that costs about $1 billion per flight, Falcon Heavy’s successful launch *only* cost $90 million!
So, that $100,000 Roadster was really just a bonus to Musk’s successful launch – and he still saved tens of millions of dollars there! Wow.