Washington, November 6 (EUROPA PRESS) .- The electric car and its mannequin driver wearing a spacecolor, launched on February 6 in the initial mission of the Space X Falcon Heavy rocket, has crossed the orbit of Mars.
"Current location for Starman. Next stop, the restaurant at the end of the universe," SpaceX has published on his Twitter account, along with a track chart.
The second sentence of that tweet, according to Space.com, is a node to the late author Douglas Adams. The restaurant at the end of the universe is the second novel in Adam's five-part series "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".
Founder and CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, is a big fan of "Hitchhiker's Guide", as evidenced by the Tesla Roadster car that drives Starman mannequin. The car's entertainment screen was programmed to read "Do not panic!" – the phrase that adorns the cover of the electronic wizard with the same name in the Adams series.
"Starman" is also a cultural reference; It is the title of a 1972 song by David Bowie. And Musk said before the release that Roadster would play Bowies here in 1969 "Space Oddity" at full speed during his journey through deep space (although Starman can not hear the famous melody in the airless vacuum). In the end, Musk "Liv on Mars", also from Bowie, chose as farewell music for Starman and Tesla.
Starman and his car will not stay beyond Mars forever. As you can see in the chart, the couple will retreat in its heliocentric orbit and reach as close to the sun as the earth.
Roadster and Starman will reach a few hundred thousand kilometers from our planet in 2091, according to an orbital modeling study. The authors of that study decided that the car will crash into Venus or Earth, probably over the next tens of millions of years. They give the spacecraft a 6 percent chance of colliding with the ground in the next few years and a 2.5 percent chance of crashing into Venus during that period.