How a photographer captured Elon's Tesla hurtling through space a million miles from earth

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/16/how-a-photographer-captured-el.html

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Isn’t it cold out in space, Bowie?
Do you want to borrow my jumper, Bowie?
Does the space cold make your nipples go pointy, Bowie?
Do you use your pointy nipples as telescopic antennae to transmit data back to Earth?
I bet you do you freaky old bastard you
Do you have one really funky sequined space suit, Bowie,
Or do you have several ch-ch-ch-ch-changes?

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Starman’s definitely moving fast but you can’t clearly make out his face, so the footage probably won’t hold up in traffic court.

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They’ll need to zoom in enough to read the license plate…assuming it has a license plate. :thinking:

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In space, nobody can hear you honk.

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My first thought is that this should become a regular occurrence. Every time the cars ’ orbit comes to earth parigee, some amateur astronomer will re-aquire the damn thing, and it’ll be a minor calendar holiday.

But then I remember the three body problem, and it’s not clear to me just how accurate some predictions can possibly be. There’s still space junk in solar orbit that we haven’t found again, so there’s no guarantee we’ll find this one again.

I’m hoping someone more knowledgeable will chime in here, and quote me some statistics…

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Wouldn’t work anyhow. He’s got the towel wrapped round his head, so we can’t see him. :wink:

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It’s not in orbit, I don’t think. It’s going someplace pretty specific.

I have a bet on it.

It doesn’t have sufficient energy to escape the Sun, nor is it on a trajectory to physically intercept Mars, so it is in orbit. Until it hits something.

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If our civilization survives, someone is going to snag this and put it in a museum on Mars.

And no matter how much people rag on Musk, I think that’s pretty damn cool.

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It’s expected to be in a 18.8 month circumsolar elliptical orbit that crosses the orbit of Mars. Because of its elliptical orbit, it will get pulled by the other planets and the Sun more as it gets nearer to them, making its orbit increasingly more elliptical. Eventually, if no one tries to capture it and it avoids any debris large enough to smash it to pieces, it will hit one of its attractors in a few million years, statistically probably the Sun. Basically it’s an asteroid in an unstable orbit.

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I finished the calculations, and there it was! A tiny white dot, just where I said it would be, among a billion other tiny white dots!

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Fun fact, planet originally meant moving star.

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The only think Musk promised, was that the rocket would give it enough momentum to push it out toward Mars orbit. It was a sales claim, not a mission objective.

There wasn’t any directional guidance on the upper stage, so the rocket stopped firing when it ran out of fuel. There was no way to send it to a specific object in space.

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Well, Jupiter could eventually give it enough to knock it out of the solar system, but old Sol will probably eat it first.

true facts. just don’t miss out on the poetry. πλανήτης (planḗtēs) means not just moving, but “wanderer”…

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/planet#Etymology

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