Last November, Elon Musk’s California-based Tesla unveiled its new Roadster, a 4-seat electric-powered convertible that can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in only 2.1 seconds and achieve a top cruising speed of more than 400 km/h. It also has a range of 1,000 km on a full charge. Asking price? $257,000.
Impressive numbers, to be sure. But Musk is not the type to leave things at impressive; the Tesla CEO had a crazy idea. That idea, which became reality this past Tuesday, was to send the car into space using the new Falcon Heavy rocket produced by SpaceX, another Musk company.
Yes, that is literally accurate. A Tesla Roadster is now in orbit around the Earth; the original plan was to have it head for somewhere around Mars, although it became clear on Wednesday that the Roadster had overshot its planned trajectory and is now more likely to head even farther into space, likely into an asteroid belt at the outer edge of the solar system. In any event, with its cruising speed of around 40,700 km/h, an argument could be made that the Roadster is the fastest car ever!
On board the space traveling roadster is a dummy named Starman, accompanied by David Bowie’ Space Oddity playing on a loop on the car’s sound system. An inscription on the car explains to any future beings that may encounter it, “Made on Earth by humans”.
"I love the thought of a car drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future."
- Elon Musk
Here’s a video of the rocket’s launch as well as a live shot of the car in space: