Earlier this month, exactly on the 6th of February, the first privately funded aerospace company called SpaceX launched an object into solar orbit during an experimental flight. The payload atop the vaunted Falcon Heavy rocket was an old cherry-red Tesla roadster (sports car) with a space-suited mannequin named Starman.
The researchers responsible for this flight spent a lot of time studying its elliptical orbit that extends far beyond the planet Mars. Actually, they ran a computer simulation nearly 240 times in order to study the evolution and change of the orbit on the very long term. They manage to calculate the chance of collision with Earth that represents 6% probability over the next million years.
These simulations showed also that the Tesla will pass close to our planet every 30 years or so. In addition to this, there’s no fear that the rocket would hit Mars and contaminate it with terrestrial bacteria. They also predicted that the roadster might be hit by some meteoroids that can affect its shape.
What distinguishes this flight of the others is that it witnessed the launch of the world’s most powerful rocket, equipped with SpaceX reusable launch system that aims to reduce the cost of launching in the future.
Two of the rocket’s three boosters detached and returned to Earth, touching down on landing sites nearby. Furthermore, the whimsical payload that underlines the capability of a commercial company to send things to the outer space, it is a kind of cross-promotional marketing for Tesla and SpaceX owned by the American Elon Musk.