Elon Musk's Tesla car to stay in space for millions of years
16 February 2018
The Tesla car that Elon Musk launched into space is likely stay there for tens of millions of years before crashing into the Earth or Venus, according to an analysis by Czech and Canadian researchers.
According to their calculations, the roadster has a 6-per cent chance of colliding with Earth and a 2.5-per cent probability of hitting Venus over the next million years.
There is no reason for us on earth to be concerned however, as most of the vehicle will burn up if it returns to earth.
As per the team's computer simulations, there is a very slim chance of the vehicle colliding with the Sun, but little to no chance of the car hitting Mars.
The car was launched into space by US entrepreneur Elon Musk, on 6 February, atop his new rocket, the Falcon Heavy - the most powerful launcher currently available (See: SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center).
Dr Hanno Rein and colleagues conducted computer simulations to determine how the orbit of the vehicle would evolve over 3.5 million years.
"We did not know what to expect because the other near-Earth objects we see in space are asteroids and typically come from further out in the Solar System. In this case, it's the reverse. We know the object comes from Earth, so the question is where will it go from here," Dr Rein, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, told BBC News.
The vehicle will pass about 68.7 million miles of Mars on 10 June and cross the Red Planet's orbit in July before reaching its farthest distance from the Sun, 154.7 million miles on 9 November.
The Roadster and its mannequin driver, Starman – will fall back toward the inner solar system, picking up speed as they near the low point of the orbit, or perihelion, on 15 August, 2019.