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Technology That orbiting Tesla Roadster could stay in space for a long time

09:31  19 february  2018
09:31  19 february  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

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a black helmet with a red umbrella: This still image taken from a SpaceX livestream video shows © SpaceX/AFP/Getty Images This still image taken from a SpaceX livestream video shows "Starman" sitting in SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's cherry red Tesla roadster after the Falcon Heavy rocket delivered it into orbit around the Earth on February 6, 2018. A Tesla Roadster crashing back down on Earth? Not in a million years.

More like "a few tens of millions of years," said researchers in a study posted to Cornell University's arXiv's site. According to reports, the study will be submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Researchers from the University of Toronto performed simulations to determine the fate of the Roadster, launched in space on the Falcon Heavy rocket launched by SpaceX. Both Tesla and SpaceX and run by billionaire Elon Musk.

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The study said the Tesla's first close contact with Earth will come in 2091, and a 6% chance the Roadster will collide with Earth over the next one million years.

"We estimate the dynamical lifetime of the Tesla to be a few tens of millions of years," read an excerpt from the study.

Earlier this month, SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy with the Tesla Roadster as its cargo. Behind the wheel of the vehicle — Elon Musk's own car — is the mannequin Starman wearing a functioning SpaceX flight suit.

Musk said most rockets embarking on test flights carry concrete or steel blocks, but that was too boring. "Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel," he said.

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