No eternal life for Elon Musk’s Roadster in space

“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 tweeted. But an unstable trajectory and radiation from the Sun will disintegrate the Roadster within a couple of centuries, argues graduate student Kiran Narayana Reddy.

SpaceMan in his Tesla Roadster. (Photo: SpaceX)

The successful launch of Falcon Heavy was nothing short of a milestone, the Dramaturgy surrounding the launch was unprecedented and deserves to be placed alongside landing on the moon and the first Kitty Hawk flight in a pantheon of amazing aerospace accomplishments.

Just a decade or so ago, it was thought that space travel in any significant form required government funding and management. But Elon Musk proved that people with profit motive and daring to do truly great things are capable of stunning achievements.

It was a marketing masterstroke of such absurdity that it left many incredulous

The showmanship demonstrated when SpaceX executed its high profile launch is unrivalled. There was the payload of the falcon rocket: a Tesla vehicle piloted by a brave mannequin and pumping out David Bowie’s Life on Mars. There was a dummy astronaut at the wheel. It was a marketing masterstroke of such absurdity that it left many incredulous: the beautiful images of a car in space will help Musk sell more cars. It was the sort of thing that stoked the imagination of young people everywhere. How much less exciting would the launch have been if its first payload was a meteorological satellite? By that act alone, Musk made space, science and engineering fun.