By: Nick Gambino
This past Tuesday, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launched into space with a red Tesla Roadster, belonging to one Elon Musk, strapped to it. Originally intended to carve a path towards Mars’ orbit, it seems it’s now going to overshoot that target.
The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket on Earth (correction: from Earth), with 27 engines and 5 million pounds of feel-it-in-your-bones thrust upon liftoff. So it’s not completely shocking that some calculations were off, resulting in an overshot of the intended trajectory.
SpaceX chose the Tesla to be carried into space instead of the usual concrete block payload because, let’s be honest, that’s boring. They even fit a mannequin in a SpaceX suit, placed him in the front seat and dubbed him Starman.
After it became apparent he wouldn’t make it to Mars, it was reported Starman would be headed for an asteroid belt hundreds of millions of miles away. “Third burn successful. Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt,” Elon tweeted.
That was corrected soon after and now it seems it’ll make it about halfway to the belt. Well, that is if it doesn’t burn up on the way. Still, that’s pretty good news for future endeavors, showing just what SpaceX is capable of.
A couple of cameras onboard the Tesla allowed us upfront visuals of what Starman was looking at as David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” blasted from the radio. Beautiful shots of Earth (take note Flat Earthers) grace the screen as the car spins.
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to continue to check in on these awe-inspiring visuals as the battery died out after just over four hours. It was only expected to last about 12 hours.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.