Starman – the dummy riding the cherry-red Tesla Roadster through space – has developed its closest approach to Mars.
During the first test launch of the SpaceX rocket on February 6, 2018, that electric transformer with its Manequin passengers rolled over the top of a Falcon heavy rocket as a stunt. Than the cherry-red sportscar.) Two years later, the Balkan Heavy Upper Level and the vehicle at its tip make a second voyage around the sun. Harvard astronomer Jonathan McDowell, who observes space objects as a side project, said Starman was 4.6 million miles (7.4 million kilometers) from Mars at 2:25 a.m. EDT Oct. Earth Mars is about 35 times closer to the Moon than anyone else on Earth.
(The closest approach between the two planets in 2003 was 34.8 million miles (56 million km)). World Atlas, Although the planets are often hundreds of millions of miles apart.)
Starman made his first close-up with Mars today within 0.05 astronomical units or 5 million miles from Red Planet pic.twitter.com/gV8barFTm7.October 7, 2020
At its current distance no one can see the upper grid of the Balkan Heavy. The strange, beautiful images that once came home to Earth have long since ceased to exist. But in a few years the orbits are very straightforward to predict, and McDowell used data on how the rocket moves as it leaves Earth. Gravity Behind to mark its latest movements.
The Roadster-bearing rocket position is in an asymmetrical orbit, which carries the Earth’s distance from the Sun at one end of its orbit – beyond the orbit of Mars 1.66 times, and then at the other end of the Earth’s orbit, the distance from the Sun to the Earth is 0.99 times.
The platform passed through the second apex of its 0.99 x 1.66 AU orbit and returned to Mars orbit a few days ago. pic.twitter.com/C6b8LffPuyOctober 7, 2020
When the last Starman orbited the Sun, McDowell said, it crossed the orbit of Mars when the Red Planet was far away. But this time the abduction is lined up with a very close approach – not yet close enough to feel the strong pull of the gravitational force of Mars.
At this point, if you want to see the roadster, it will be very different. As Announced at Live Science 2018, Severe sun Radiation The interplanetary environment may have broken all exposed organic matter (red paint, rubber tires, leather seats, etc.). Carbon bonds They will be together. Without the Earth’s protective atmosphere and magnetic shield, even the strongest plastics in windshields and carbon fiber materials would begin to decay. For decades or even centuries, the car would have to be reduced to its aluminum frame and sturdy glass parts – assuming that none of them would be destroyed in the damage caused by passing space rocks.
First published in Live Science.