Hey, so what happened to Starman?
It’s been nine months since we saw SpaceX’s heroic space suit-clad mannequin cruising through space in a Tesla Roadster.
On Feb. 14, we watched Starman disappear into deep space, after being carried carried into orbit by SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, which launched its maiden flight and landed two of its three main boosters back on Earth — we were there.
And now, he’s made it past Mars.
According to a diagram tweeted by SpaceX on Monday, Starman is reasonably close to Mars, but beyond its orbit.
SpaceX originally planned for the Roadster to end up orbiting through the solar system, getting pretty close to Mars every so often. SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk predicted the Roadster would overshoot these estimates, and keep driving on until the asteroid belt.
Either way, Starman’s made it past Mars.
Where’s he off to next? According to SpaceX, “the restaurant at the end of the universe,” in a nod to Douglas Adams’ 1980 novel of the same name, the sequel to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
It’s a nice tie-in with the words “DON’T PANIC!” that appear on the Roadster’s dashboard display, another reference to Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide — the words appear on the cover in the story. Musk first read the book as a teen, and there’s supposedly a copy of the book in the Roadster’s glove box.
But if you’re wondering where he will truly end up, Starman will likely loop back on his heliocentric orbit and stay about the same distance from the sun as Earth, writes Space.com. The publisher cited an , which suggested the Roadster could possibly even collide with either Venus or Earth — but not for at least 1 million years.