Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster
Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster is an electric sports car that served as the dummy payload for the February 2018 Falcon Heavy test flight and became an artificial satellite of the Sun. "Starman", a mannequin dressed in a spacesuit, occupies the driver's seat. The car and rocket are products of Tesla and SpaceX, respectively, both companies headed by Elon Musk. The 2008-model Roadster is personally owned by and previously used by Musk for commuting to work. It is the first production car launched into space and first to orbit the sun.
Roadster car mounted on Falcon Heavy upper-stage; Earth in the background
|Names||SpaceX Roadster |
|Mission type||Test flight|
|Spacecraft type||2008 Tesla Roadster used as a mass simulator, attached to the upper stage of a Falcon Heavy rocket|
|Manufacturer||Tesla and SpaceX|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||20:45:00, February 6, 2018 (UTC)|
|Rocket||Falcon Heavy FH-001|
|Launch site||Kennedy LC-39A|
|Perihelion altitude||0.98613 au (147,523,000 km)|
|Aphelion altitude||1.6637 au (248,890,000 km)|
|Epoch||1 May 2018|
The car, mounted on the rocket's second stage, acquired enough velocity to escape Earth's gravity and enter an elliptical heliocentric orbit crossing the orbit of Mars. The orbit reaches a maximum distance from the Sun at aphelion of 1.66 astronomical units (au). During the early portion of the voyage outside the Earth's atmosphere, live video was transmitted back to the mission control center and live-streamed for slightly over four hours.
Advertising analysts noted Musk's sense of brand management and use of new media for his decision to launch a Tesla into space. Musk explained he wanted to inspire the public about the "possibility of something new happening in space" as part of his larger vision for spreading humanity to other planets.
In March 2017, SpaceX's founder, Elon Musk, said that because the launch of the new Falcon Heavy vehicle was risky, it would carry the "silliest thing we can imagine". In June 2017, one of his Twitter followers suggested that the silly thing be a Tesla Model S, to which Musk replied "Suggestions welcome!". In December 2017 he announced that the payload would be his personal "midnight cherry Tesla Roadster". Later that month, photos of the car prior to payload encapsulation were released.
Roadster as payload Edit
The car was permanently mounted on the rocket in an inclined position above the payload adapter. Tubular structures were added to mount front and side cameras.
Positioned in the driver's seat is "Starman", a full-scale human mannequin clad in a SpaceX pressure spacesuit. It was placed with the right hand on the steering wheel and the left elbow resting on the open window sill. The mannequin was named after the David Bowie song "Starman", and the car's sound system was set before launch to continuously loop the Bowie song "Space Oddity".
There is a copy of Douglas Adams' novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in the glovebox, along with references to the book in the form of a towel and a sign on the dashboard that reads "DON'T PANIC!". A Hot Wheels miniature Roadster with a miniature Starman is mounted on the dashboard. A plaque bearing the names of the employees who worked on the project is placed underneath the car, and a message on the vehicle's circuit board reads "Made on Earth by humans". The car also carries a copy of Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy on a 5D optical disc, a proof of concept for high-density long-lasting data storage, donated to Musk by the Arch Mission Foundation.
The US Office of Commercial Space Transportation issued the test flight's launch license on February 2, 2018. The rocket lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center at 15:45 EST (20:45 UTC) on February 6. The upper stage supporting the car was initially placed in an Earth parking orbit. It spent six hours coasting through the Van Allen radiation belts, thereby demonstrating a new capability requested by the U.S. Air Force for direct insertion of heavy intelligence satellites into geostationary orbit. Then, the upper stage performed a second boost to reach the desired escape trajectory.
The launch was live streamed, and video feeds from space showed the Roadster at various angles, with Earth in the background, thanks to cameras placed inside and outside the car, on booms attached to the vehicle's custom adaptor atop the upper stage. Musk had estimated the car's battery would last over 12 hours, but the live stream ran for just over four hours, thus ending before the final boost out of Earth orbit. The images were released by SpaceX into the public domain on their Flickr account.
Following the launch, the rocket stage carrying the car was given the Satellite Catalog Number 43205, named "TESLA ROADSTER/FALCON 9H", along with the COSPAR designation 2018-017A. The JPL Horizons system publishes solutions for the trajectory as target body "-143205".
The Roadster is in a heliocentric orbit that crosses the orbit of Mars and reaches a distance of 1.66 au from the Sun. With an inclination of roughly 1 degree to the ecliptic plane, compared to Mars' 1.85° inclination, this trajectory by design cannot intercept Mars, so the car will neither fly by Mars nor enter an orbit around Mars. This was the second object launched by SpaceX to leave Earth orbit, after the DSCOVR mission to the Earth–Sun L1 Lagrangian point. Nine months after launch, the Tesla had travelled beyond the orbit of Mars, reaching aphelion at 12:48 UTC on November 9, 2018, at a distance of 248,892,559 km (1.664 au) from the Sun. The maximum speed of the car relative to the Sun will be approximately 121,000 km/h (75,000 mph) at perihelion.
Even if the rocket had targeted an actual Mars transfer orbit, the car could not have been placed into orbit around Mars, because the upper stage that carries it is not equipped with the necessary propellant, maneuvering, and communications capabilities. This flight simply demonstrated that Falcon Heavy is capable of launching significant payloads towards Mars in potential future missions.
The car in space quickly became a topic for Internet memes. Western Australia Police distributed a picture of a radar gun aimed at the Roadster whilst above Australia. Škoda produced a parody video of a Škoda Superb being driven to Mars (a village in central France). An attempt was made by Donut Media to launch a Hot Wheels Tesla Model X to the stratosphere using a weather balloon. ToSky, a Russian start-up, sent a scale model of a Soviet-era Lada carrying a mannequin of Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin to an altitude of 20 km to gather test data for the design of stratostats.
Some news reports observed a similarity between the real pictures of a car orbiting the Earth and the title sequence of the 1981 animation film Heavy Metal, where a space traveler lands on Earth in a two-seater Chevrolet Corvette convertible.
The SpaceX launch live stream reached over 2.3 million concurrent viewers on YouTube, which made it the second most watched live event on the platform, behind another space-related event: Felix Baumgartner's jump from the stratosphere in 2012.
The choice of the Roadster as a dummy payload was variously interpreted as marketing for Tesla, or a work of art, with some worrying about the risk to contamination of otherwise sterile solar system bodies. Some also commented on how the Roadster was not a space debris risk.
Musk was lauded as a visionary marketer and brand manager by controlling both the timing and the content of his corporate public relations. After the launch, Scientific American said using a car was not entirely pointless, in the sense that something of that size and weight was necessary for a meaningful test. "Thematically, it was a perfect fit" to use the Tesla car, and there was no reason not to take the opportunity to remind the auto industry that Musk was challenging the status quo in that arena, as well as in space. Advertising Age agreed with Business Insider that the Roadster space launch was the "greatest ever car commercial without a dime spent on advertising", demonstrating that Musk is "miles ahead of the rest" in reaching young consumers, where "mere mortals scrabble about spending millions to fight each other over seconds of air time", Musk "just executes his vision." Alex Hern, technology reporter for The Guardian, said the choice to launch a car was a "hybrid of genuine breakthrough and nerd-baiting publicity stunt" without "any real point beyond generating good press pics", which should not detract from the much more important technological milestone represented by the launch of the rocket itself.
Lori Garver, a former NASA deputy director, initially said the choice of payload for the Falcon Heavy maiden flight is a gimmick and a loss of opportunity to further advance science—but later clarified that "I was told by a SpaceX VP (vice president) at the launch that they offered free launches to NASA, Air Force etc. but got no takers."
Musk responded to the critics stating he wanted to inspire the public about the "possibility of something new happening in space," as part of his larger vision for spreading humanity to other planets.
Work of artEdit
Alice Gorman, a lecturer in archaeology and space studies at Flinders University in Australia, said that the Roadster's primary purpose is symbolic communication, that "the red sports car symbolises masculinity – power, wealth and speed – but also how fragile masculinity is." Drawing on anthropological theories of symbols, she argues that "The car is also an armour against dying, a talisman that quells a profound fear of mortality." Gorman wrote that "the spacesuit is also about death. [...] The Starman was never alive, but now he's haunting space."
Space debris non-riskEdit
Orbital debris expert Darren McKnight stated that the car poses no risk because it is far from Earth orbit. He added: "The enthusiasm and interest that [Musk] generates more than offsets the infinitesimally small 'littering' of the cosmos." Tommy Sanford, director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, said that the car and its rocket stage are no more "space junk" than the mundane material usually launched on other test flights. Mass simulators are often deliberately placed in a graveyard orbit or sent on a deep space trajectory, where they are not a hazard.
The Planetary Society was concerned that launching a non-sterile object to interplanetary space may risk biological contamination of a foreign world. Scientists at Purdue University noted that the vehicle will be sterilized by solar radiation over time and the vehicle is most likely to hit the Earth in the future, though some bacteria might survive on some components of the vehicle which could contaminate Mars in the distant future if it was to hit Mars instead.
Orbit tracking Edit
The car and the upper stage were passivated by intentionally removing remaining chemical and electrical energy, at which point they ceased transmitting telemetry. Based on optical observations made using a robotic telescope at the Warrumbungle Observatory, Dubbo, Australia and refinement of the orbit, a close re-encounter with Earth (originally predicted for 2073) is not possible. In October 2020 the car made a close approach to Mars, about 8 million kilometres (5 million miles) away, well outside the planet's gravitational sphere of influence.
The Virtual Telescope Project observed the Tesla two days after its launch, where it had a magnitude of 15.5, comparable to Pluto's moon Charon. The Roadster was automatically spotted and logged by the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) telescope operated by the University of Hawaii. The car was observed by the Deimos Sky Survey (DeSS) at a distance of 720,000 km (450,000 mi) with a flashing effect suggesting spinning.
Through measuring changes in apparent brightness of the object, astronomers have determined that the Roadster is rotating with a period of 4.7589 ± 0.0060 minutes (i.e. 4 minutes, 46 seconds). By February 11, 2018, astrometry measurements from 241 independent observations had been collated, refining the positions to within one-tenth of an arcsecond and published by the SeeSat-L mailing list, a group of amateur satellite spotters—more accurate than for most observations of objects in space.
Simulations over a 3-million-year timespan found a probability of the Roadster colliding with Earth at approximately 6%, or with Venus at approximately 2.5%. These probabilities of collision are similar to those of other near-Earth objects. The half-life for the tested orbits was calculated as approximately 20 million years, but with trajectories varying significantly following a close approach to the Earth–Moon system in 2091.
Musk had originally speculated that the car could drift in space for a billion years. According to chemist William Carroll, solar radiation, cosmic radiation, and micrometeoroid impacts will structurally damage the car over time. Radiation will eventually break down any material with carbon–carbon bonds, including carbon fiber parts. Tires, paint, plastic and leather might last only about a year, while carbon fiber parts will last considerably longer. Eventually, only the aluminum frame, inert metals, and glass not shattered by meteoroids will remain.
Potential followup missionEdit
|Wikinews has related news:|
- Miley, Jessica (February 9, 2018). "NASA Officially Lists Elon Musk's Floating Tesla Roadster As a Celestial Object". Interesting Engineering. Retrieved February 14, 2018. JPL designated the artificial object as "Tesla Roadster (Starman, 2018-017A)"
- Kyle, Ed. "SpaceX Falcon Heavy Data Sheet". spacelaunchreport.com.
- "Tesla Roadster (spacecraft) (solution #10)". JPL Horizons On-Line Ephemeris System. March 27, 2018. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
- LaMonica, Martin (September 21, 2009). "Tesla Motors founders: Now there are five". CNet. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
agreed-upon "founders" of Tesla. [...] Eberhard, [...] Elon Musk, [...] JB Straubel, Marc Tarpenning, and Ian Wright.
- Harwood, William (February 8, 2017). "'Starman' puts Earth in the rearview mirror". CBS News – via Spaceflight Now.
- Live Views of Starman – via YouTube.
- Mosher, Dave (March 13, 2018). "Elon Musk explains why he launched a car toward Mars — and the reasons are much bigger than his ego". Business Insider. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
- Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (March 31, 2017). "Silliest thing we can imagine! Secret payload of 1st Dragon flight was a giant wheel of cheese. Inspired by a friend & Monty Python" (Tweet). Retrieved July 11, 2018 – via Twitter.
- Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo [@janeidyeve] (June 15, 2017). "@elonmusk Please Let Twitter vote for #FalconHeavyCargo Let us imagine the silliest things possible! @arstechnica @TeslaMotors @spacex -RT&❤" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Mark Reagan (February 7, 2018). "Brownsville woman, Musk interact on social media". The Brownsville Herald. Archived from the original on February 10, 2018.
- Marlane Rodriguez (January 2, 2018). "Brownsville Woman Inspires SpaceX to Launch Car to Mars". KVEO-TV.
- Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (July 2, 2017). "Suggestions welcome!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (December 2, 2017). "Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn't blow up on ascent" (Tweet). Retrieved February 20, 2018 – via Twitter.
- "Elon Musk says SpaceX will try to launch his Tesla Roadster on new heavy-lift rocket". Space Flight Now.
- Malik, Tariq (December 1, 2017). "Elon Musk Will Launch His Tesla Roadster to Mars on SpaceX's 1st Falcon Heavy Rocket". Space.com.
- "Falcon Heavy's Debut Flight Payload: A Tesla Roadster". Aviation Week & Space Technology. December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- Mosher, Dave (February 9, 2018), "Launching Elon Musk's car toward Mars was a backup plan — here's what SpaceX actually wanted to do with Falcon Heavy's first flight", Business Insider
- "The First Car in Space". December 30, 2017. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
- Knapp, Alex (December 22, 2017). "Elon Musk Shows Off Photos of a Tesla Roadster Getting Prepped to Go to Mars". Forbes. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
- Elon Musk Unveils 'Starman' in Tesla Roadster Launching on SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Rocket. Hanneke Weitering, Space.com. February 5, 2018.
- Joe Pappalardo (February 5, 2018). "Elon Musk's Space Tesla Isn't Going to Mars. It's Going Somewhere More Important". Popular Mechanics.
- "SpaceX Successfully Launches the Falcon Heavy – and Elon Musk's Roadster". WIRED. February 6, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
- @tiamaria68uk (December 8, 2017). "Will the glove box contain "The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy"?" (Tweet). Retrieved December 8, 2017 – via Twitter.
- Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (December 8, 2017). "Yes" (Tweet). Retrieved December 8, 2017 – via Twitter.
- Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (December 8, 2017). "Plus a towel and a sign saying 'Don't Panic'" (Tweet). Retrieved December 8, 2017 – via Twitter.
- Musk, Elon. "Printed on the circuit board of a car in deep space". Archived from the original on February 7, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2018 – via Instagram.
- Chris Taylor (February 9, 2018). "Forget the Tesla, Elon Musk launched the first books in an ever-lasting space library". Mashable. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- Eric Olson (February 14, 2018). "Backing Up Humanity: First Arch Launched on Falcon Heavy". IEEE GlobalSpec. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- Wong, Kenneth (February 2, 2018). "License Number: LLS 18-107" (PDF). Office of Commercial Space Transportation. Archived from the original on February 3, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
Space Exploration Technologies is authorized to conduct: (i) a flight of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) transporting the modified Tesla Roadster (mass simulator) to a hyperbolic orbit; and […]CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Brinkmann & Santana. "SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch live coverage: Liftoff successful". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- Gebhardt, Chris (February 6, 2018). "SpaceX set to debut Falcon Heavy in demonstration launch from KSC". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- Berger, Eric (February 6, 2018). "Elon Musk says the Falcon Heavy has a 50-50 chance of success". Ars Technica. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- Boyle, Alan (February 6, 2018). "Elon Musk explains why SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket is risky – and revolutionary". GeekWire. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- Foust, Jeff [@jeff_foust] (February 5, 2018). "Musk: will be three cameras mounted on the Roadster, should provide "epic views" if all goes well" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- McDowell, Jonathan [@planet4589] (February 8, 2018). "I now have confirmation that the Tesla remains attached to the Falcon 2nd stage, which is being observed by asteroid experts" (Tweet). Retrieved February 11, 2018 – via Twitter.
- Weitering, Hanneke (February 6, 2018). "Watch Live Views of SpaceX's Starman Riding a Tesla Roadster in Space!". Space.com. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- "This is what a Tesla Roadster looks like floating through space". CNBC. February 6, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
- Michael Zhang (February 8, 2018). "This is the Last Photo of the Tesla That's Flying Away From Earth". PetaPixel. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
The photo was shared by billionaire Elon Musk on Instagram and SpaceX on Flickr. As you might remember, SpaceX began publishing all of its Flickr photos to the public domain in March 2015, leading Flickr to add a public domain designation just days later.
- Brown, Molly (March 23, 2015). "Elon Musk makes SpaceX photos free for public use". GeekWire. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
- "TESLA ROADSTER/FALCON 9H". N2YO.com. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
- Plait, Phil (December 2, 2017). "Elon Musk: On the Roadster to Mars". Syfy Wire. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- Nag, Poulami (November 4, 2018). "SpaceX Starman reaches beyond Mars in his cherry red Tesla Roadster". ibtimes.co.in. IB Times. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- Frieger, Greg (2018). "Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster in Space – Live Position". where-is-tesla-roadster.space. Retrieved December 12, 2018. Select "Aug 15, 2019 Closest to the Sun (perihelion)" in the "Past and future events" section to view the predicted speed at that time.
- Bayle, Alfred (February 7, 2018). "Tesla Roadster in space becomes internet's new favorite meme". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
- Ilona (February 7, 2018). "47 Of The Funniest Reactions To Elon Musk Sending Tesla Car To Mars". Bored Panda. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
- "Hilarisch: Australische politie slingert ruimte-Tesla op de bon vanwege hoge snelheid" [Hilarious: Australian Police send orbiting Tesla a speeding ticket]. RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). February 7, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- Western Australia Police [@WA_Police] (February 7, 2018). "Ticket's in the post mate... 😉 #AnywhereAnytime #WAPoliceForce #FalconHeavy" (Tweet). Retrieved February 16, 2018 – via Twitter.
- Padeanu, Adrian (February 14, 2018). "Skoda Releases Video Proof Of Sending Superb To Mars". Motor1.com. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- Škoda France (February 14, 2018). #MissionToMars (in English and French). Retrieved February 15, 2018 – via Youtube.
- Patel, Joel V. (February 27, 2018). "Launching A Tesla Model X Toy Car Into Space Is Insanely Difficult, Incredibly Hilarious". Carscoops. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- Donut Media (February 25, 2018). We Tried to Launch a Tesla to Space Too. Retrieved February 27, 2018 – via Youtube.
- "Russians send Soviet car model into stratosphere". BBC News. June 12, 2019.
- Cross, Alan (February 7, 2018). "A Canadian-American predicted what Elon Musk's rocket roadster did yesterday—in 1981!". CFNY-FM. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
picture is not fake [...] photo is from space [...] resemblance to the opening sequence of a Canadian-American adult animated movie from 1981 called Heavy Metal
- DeBord, Matthew (February 10, 2018). "The Falcon Heavy Roadster Launch reveals how Tesla and SpaceX are already beginning to merge". Business Insider UK. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
Roadster orbiting Earth [...] like something out of the [...] opening sequence from the 1981 grownup animated movie "Heavy Metal"
- Singleton, Micah (February 6, 2018). "SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch was YouTube's second biggest live stream ever". The Verge. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- Billings, Lee (February 6, 2018), "Elon Musk Does It Again; His Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off on the first try, puts a Tesla auto into orbit—and maybe changes the business of space commerce and exploration forever", Scientific American, archived from the original on February 9, 2018
- Wnek, Mark (February 8, 2018), "There's Advertising and Marketing, and Then There's Elon Musk", Advertising Age
- Matousek, Mark (February 7, 2018), "Tesla created the world's best car commercial without spending a dime on advertising", Business Insider
- "The mega-rich have ambitious plans to improve the world; Should that be a cause for celebration or concern?", The Economist, February 8, 2018
- Hern, Alex (February 7, 2018), "Forget the car in space: why Elon Musk's reusable rockets are more than a publicity stunt; The onboard Tesla Roadster grabbed the headlines, but the real success of this week's space adventure was the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle", The Guardian, archived from the original on February 7, 2018
- Richards, Alexandra (February 9, 2018). "Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch was just a gimmick, says former NASA boss Lori Garver". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
- Chayka, Kyle (February 10, 2018). "Elon Musk made history launching a car into space. Did he make art too?".
a staggering image [...] and so impressive that the video seems somehow unreal. It's the greatest car ad of all time. [...] In 1917, Marcel Duchamp put a urinal on a pedestal, titled it Fountain [...] and called it art. [...] a readymade, his word for a combination of everyday objects reassembled or re-contextualized by an artist.
- Tesla Roadster gets Interplanetary ID. Leonard David. Space. 9 February 2018.
- Gorman, Alice; Flinders University (February 7, 2018). "A sports car and a glitter ball are now in space – what does that say about us as humans?". The Conversation. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- Is the Tesla Roadster Flying on the Falcon Heavy's Maiden Flight Just Space Junk?. Leonard David, Space, 5 February 2018.
- Kaufman, Mark (February 8, 2018). "Elon Musk's 'Starman' Tesla Roadster isn't your typical piece of space junk". Mashable. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- Let's talk about Elon Musk launching his Tesla into space. Jason Davis, The Planetary Society. 5 February 2018.
- David Szondy (February 27, 2018). "Tesla in space could carry bacteria from Earth". Purdue University. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
- Langbroek, Marco; Starr, Peter (February 9, 2018). "Starman (Falcon Heavy/Tesla Roadster) 2018-017A imaged in Space". Retrieved February 9, 2018.
images were taken, 16:39-16:50 UT on 8 February 2018 [...] distance of 550 000 km or about 1.4 Lunar distances c.q. 0.0037 AU [...] 30-second exposures taken by Peter Starr and me with the 0.43-m F6.8 remote robotic telescope of Dubbo Observatory in Australia [...] 2073 close encounter [...] is no longer on the table.
- SpaceX's Tesla roadster made its first close approach with Mars. Allen Kim, cnn. 8 October 2020.
- Masi, Gianluca (February 8, 2018). "Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster imaged and filmed!". virtualtelescope.eu. Archived from the original on February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
- Denneau, Larry (February 8, 2018). "UH ATLAS telescope spots SpaceX Tesla Roadster in flight" (Press release). Retrieved February 11, 2018.
ATLAS was not looking for the Roadster—it was found during routine observations and automatically identified as a near-Earth object.
- "New images of SpaceX's Starman Tesla". Elecnor Deimos. February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
captured the vehicle at a distance of 720.000 km from Earth ... show a flickering effect that suggests that the Tesla Roadster is spinning fast.
- "Here's Exactly How Fast Elon Musk's Tesla Is Spinning In Space". February 13, 2018.
- Gray, Bill (February 11, 2018). "Re: Tesla roadster and booster observations" – via SeeSat-L mailing list.
list of 241 observations and growing [...] continue to be observed for about two weeks. [...] know the position of this object to better than a tenth of an arcsecond, [...] Almost nobody is getting data that accurate.
- Rein, Hanno; Tamayo, Daniel; Vokrouhlicky, David (February 13, 2018). "The random walk of cars and their collision probabilities with planets". Aerospace. 5 (2): 57. arXiv:1802.04718. Bibcode:2018arXiv180204718R. doi:10.3390/aerospace5020057. S2CID 119328461.
- Lezter, Rafi. "Radiation Will Tear Elon Musk's Rocket Car to Bits in a Year". LiveScience. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
- Mike Wall (August 20, 2019). "SpaceX's Starman and Elon Musk's Tesla Have Made a Lap Around the Sun". space.com. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
- Mike Brown (August 19, 2019). "Where Is Starman? Elon Musk Teases SpaceX Mission to Catch Up With Roadster". inverse.com. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster.|
- on YouTube
- Photographic animation of Roadster moving across the sky, at Wikimedia Commons
- Where in Space is Tesla Roadster, animation of the Roadster trajectory, past and future events, orbital elements
- Where is Starman? Track Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster in Space!, real-time orbit of the Roadster, future events
- on YouTube