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Goodbye, Starman: Floating Tesla Roadster Now Heading Toward The Asteroid Belt

SpaceX ‘starman’ flies by earth in Tesla roadster
Starman has officially gone dark. The mannequin astronaut riding a Tesla Roadster through space is now heading toward the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter.   ( Justin Sullivan | Getty Images )

Starman is now wandering around the mostly empty confines of space clad in his fancy Daft Punk-ish aerospace costume, one hand on the wheel of his Tesla Roadster, the other casually laid against the door, American road trip style.

Elon Musk shared the last selfie of Starman on Instagram, behind him Earth and all its inhabitants. The car and its mannequin driver was carried to space in Feb. 6 via the historic Falcon Heavy launch, cementing SpaceX as the most promising space company there is. The Roadster will eventually leave Earth’s orbit and travel outward through our own solar system.

Starman Goes Dark

You can see the last selfie below, which technically features everyone on Earth, similar to another photo Michael Collins took in 1969, featuring the pale blue dot in its entirety.

At a press conference, Musk confirmed that the battery capturing a live feed of Starman was going to last roughly 12 hours, and it would eventually cut off all communication.

“After that it’s just going to be out there in deep space for maybe millions, maybe billions of years, who knows?” said Musk.

Why Must Sent A Car To Space

It remains unclear exactly when Starman went dark, but it was a fascinating, perhaps even a revolutionary experience while it lasted. “A car floating freely in space” seems like such a crazy, impossible sentence, but it is, in fact, true. Some criticized Musk’s decision to throw a car in space as nothing more than a public relations move meant to promote its Tesla cars, but the CEO said it was purely for fun.

“It’s silly and fun, but silly and fun things are important. It’s literally a normal car in space. I like the absurdity of that. Normally they’d launch a block of concrete or something, that’s boring,” said Musk.

Initially, the plan was to have the Roadster go toward Mars’s orbit, but the payload overshot, making the car and its driver head toward the Asteroid Belt instead of the red planet. The Asteroid Belt sits between Mars and Jupiter. The photo above depicts the last photo of Starman people are ever going to see, but it’ll be floating around in space for probably millions of years.

Do you think an extraterrestrial civilization will eventually stumble upon the Roadster and Starman? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!

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