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Starman and his deep-space ride have completed their first lap around the sun.
The spacesuit-clad mannequin, who sits behind the wheel of SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk's red Tesla Roadster, launched on Feb. 6, 2018, on the inaugural flight of the huge Falcon Heavy rocket.
Duo - Orbit - Weekend - Site - Whereisroadster
The duo wrapped up their first solar orbit over the weekend, according to the tracking site whereisroadster.com. Starman and the Tesla have an orbital period of about 557 Earth days, the website calculated, and they've been in space for 560 days as of Monday (Aug. 19).
At launch, the Roadster's radio was playing David Bowie's "Life on Mars." If the car's battery is still working, Starman has now heard the song more than 150,000 times, according to the tracking site. And the site provides some other interesting tidbits as well. For example, the Tesla has now traveled more than 760 million miles (1.2 billion kilometers) in space, meaning the car has exceeded its 36,000-mile (58,000 km) warranty more than 21,000 times over.
Debut - Flights - Rockets - SpaceX - Dummy
Debut flights by rockets are inherently risky, which explains why SpaceX chose to put a dummy payload rather than a functional satellite on the February 2018 Falcon Heavy launch. Musk has said he chose Starman and the Roadster for fun, but the car likely serves a marketing purpose as well. (Musk also runs Tesla, of course.)
Car and driver will probably make many more laps around our star. Last year, an orbit-modeling study...
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