Spacefaring Roadster will miss Mars and asteroids

Starman in Tesla Roadster
A camera mounted on the spacefaring Tesla Roadster shows Starman in the driver’s seat with Earth essentially in the rear-view mirror. (SpaceX Photo via Instagram / Elon Musk)

It took a day or two, but astronomers have figured out where the Tesla Roadster launched into deep space aboard SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket is going. And it’s not the planet Mars or the asteroid belt.

Observations of the Roadster, which has a spacesuit-clad mannequin named Starman riding in the driver’s seat, indicate that it’s in an elliptical orbit around the sun that will take it just outside the orbit of Mars and then back to slightly within Earth’s orbital distance.

If you run out the orbit over the foreseeable future, it’s not on a path to run into Earth, or Mars, or any asteroids.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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