The Tesla Roadster spacecraft is a Midnight Cherry (or Cherry 1 ) car that was used as an empty load on the maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket . It is a first-generation Tesla Roadster manufactured in 2009 by Tesla Motors , an American manufacturer of electric cars co-founded by Elon Musk . The 1 st December, he announced on Twitter that SpaceX , a private aerospace company, will launch the car in January 2018. In February 2018, she launched into space.
Because of the risk of flight failure, Musk said he wanted to send into space “the stupidest thing we can imagine,” without announcing his intention to put into orbit his Tesla Roadster 2 , 3 . If journalists have reported that the use of the car was “a complete fabrication” , for advertising purposes, Musk and SpaceX several employees finally said that the car would be part of the load 4 .
On December 22, 2017, Elon Musk publishes photos of the car before it is shipped. It is positioned inclined above the payload adapter to balance the assembly 5 . A little later, a dummy is added wearing a space suit developed by the company SpaceX, and cameras are installed on arms to film the whole once in space.
The car was placed into heliocentric elliptical orbit on February 6, 2018 by the Falcon Heavy 6 rocket .
It was originally announced that it would be injected onto a pseudo -transfer orbit leading up to the planet orbit Mars 6 , 7 , 8 , but not to the Mars planet itself, which would have required launching into a different launch window. It is ultimately placed in an orbit around the Sun between 0.986 astronomical unit (near the Earth’s orbit at perihelion ) and 1.664 astronomical units (just beyond the distance from Mars to the aphelion ) and inclined from 1.08 degrees 9, close to the orbit originally planned. The automobile could drift into space for a few hundred million years before it crashes onto the Sun or is ejected from the solar system, mainly because of Jupiter’s gravitational influence. It orbits the Sun in 1.52 years (557 days) and reaches the record speed for an automobile of around 121,600 km / h at each perihelion pass.
The number 2018-017A has been assigned to him in the NSSDCA / COSPAR catalog as a satellite.
The car radio played the song Space Oddity by David Bowie 3 to battery drain (which was only six hours of battery life). A copy of the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ( The Guide to the Galaxy ) is stored in the glove box with a towel that reads one of the leitmotif of the Guide : ” Do not Panic ” ( “Do not panic not “), words also found on the dashboard screen 10 , 11 . On an electronic map of the”Made on Earth by humans” ).
The Tesla Roadster is the first consumer car to travel in space 12 . However, this is not the first wheeled vehicle to be transported into space. Three Lunar Roving Vehicles were indeed used during Apollo missions 15 , 16 and 17 ; these three vehicles remained on the Moon