Starman coming your way. Image credit: SpaceX


A Tesla roadster is headed for a possible speeding ticket as it is cruising toward Earth at nearly 6,000 miles per hour.

On February 6, 2018 SpaceX launched the automobile on a Mars-crossing orbit.



But the car may hit the Earth… sometime within the next 15 million years – so don’t panic.

Random walk

Hanno Rein is at the University of Toronto’s Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences in Canada.

Rein and colleagues in 2018 wrote “The random walk of cars and their collision probabilities with planets” – as published in the journal, Aerospace.

Dummy-carrying Tesla served as a dummy payload for the Falcon Heavy test flight.

They investigated the fate of the Tesla Roadster launched by SpaceX, with a caveat. “On timescales significantly longer than a century, continued close encounters will render precise long-term predictions of the object’s chaotic orbit impossible.”

First close encounter

Rein’s assessment implies the dynamical half-life of the Tesla to be 15 million years, similar to near Earth asteroids decoupled from major escape routes from the main belt.

On its celestial highway, the Tesla has been out and about for over six years.

According to Ben Pearson at, the Tesla’s location is 64,332,500 miles from Earth, moving toward Earth at a speed of 5,849 miles per hour.

The roadster’s first close encounter, coming within a lunar distance of the Earth, will occur within the next 100 years, Rein and colleagues reported.

Image credit:
Roadster Tracker/Ben Pearson





Arguably, that’s just in time for a SpaceX Starship to rendezvous with the Sun-baked electric sports car for a battery charge!









To keep an eye on the space jaunting Tesla, go to:

For the paper — “The random walk of cars and their collision probabilities with planets” – go to:

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