TESLA

Tesla Roadster Launched Into Space 2 Years Ago Floats Past Mars: Report

Elon Musk's car with "Starman" dummy at the wheel will do a "drive-by" of Earth next month

SpaceX via Getty Images

A Tesla Roadster that Elon Musk launched into space on one of his SpaceX rockets in 2018 just floated past Mars, according to a report Thursday on Business Insider.

The "drive-by" was independently calculated by Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the news site reported.

In a much publicized stunt in February 2018, Musk placed a spacesuit-wearing dummy named "Starman" behind the wheel of one of his old Tesla Roadsters and attached the car to a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, which then was launched into space.

Over the past two years, the rocket's second stage, with the mounted Tesla Roadster, has been floating through space on an elliptical orbit that it completes every 557 days, according to the report.

The sports car made its first pass on Mars at about 2:25 p.m. ET Wednesday, coming within an estimated 4.6 million miles of the red planet, according to McDowell's calculations.

Musk's out-of-this-world Tesla Roadster will do a "drive-by" of Earth on Nov. 5, coming within 32 million miles of us, the report said.

Musk is the CEO of both Palo Alto-based Tesla and Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX.

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