Starman, the famous dummy that launched into space over two years ago, has just made it to Mars.
The spacesuit-wearing manniquin was placed inside SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy as a payload during the test flight back in 2018.
The plan was to send Starman on a trajectory to Mars and, according to SpaceX, he’s just about got there.
Coming in at under 5 million miles (8 million kilometres) from the Red Planet, this is the closest Starman will get until 2035. When that happens, he’ll cruise much closer at 1.4 million miles (2.3 million kilometres) from the surface.
Starman, last seen leaving Earth, made its first close approach with Mars todayâwithin 0.05 astronomical units, or under 5 million miles, of the Red Planet pic.twitter.com/gV8barFTm7
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that the reason for putting Starman into space was that it was more fun than the typical payload dummy that space companies use to test their rockets.
According to an orbit-modelling study, Starman will swing back past Earth in 2091, coming within a few hundred thousand kilometers of our planet.
From there, it should be a straight drive on to the restaurant at the end of the universe.
Elon Musk, Mars, Tesla, Inc., SpaceX, Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster, Falcon Heavy
World news – US – Elon Musk’s Starman just drove past Mars