Since the Falcon Heavy delivered its unusual payload Tuesday, we’ve been wondering where Elon Musk’s Falcon and “Starman” have been going.

Turns out, we were all wrong.

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Musk’s Tesla was originally supposed to be sent into a kind of heliocentric orbit called a Trans-Mars injection, but the rocket carrying the payload overshot it. In a map included in a tweet, Musk announced that the Tesla would instead travel to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, coming relatively close to dwarf planet Ceres.

“Third burn successful,” Musk writes. “Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt.”

Sorry, but he was also wrong.

The Verge reports that astronomers noticed something amiss in the trajectory Musk tweeted, which caused SpaceX to send NASA a new orbit. The updated version on NASA JPL’s website shows Starman won’t actually make it to the asteroid belt as Musk claimed — it’ll only make it about 160 million miles away from our sun.

Harvard astronomer Jonathan McDowell elaborated on the Tesla’s trajectory in a series of tweets. By his calculations, the closest it’ll get to Earth in the near future is in March 2021, when it will be at a distance of 45 million kilometers (about 28 million miles). For context, that’s suuuuuuuuuuper far.

“Summary: Starman will be lonely for a long time to come,” McDowell concludes.

It’s ironic that the internet’s favorite part of the Falcon Heavy launch doesn’t seem to be the rocket itself but the Starman, cruising off into the cold vacuum of space. Even though he’s perfect fodder for memes, sadly, he won’t get to enjoy his newfound fame, as he’s too busy traveling through the void.

Regardless of where he’s going, we wish him lots of luck from Earth.


Photos via SpaceX

Apple’s next iPhone models are almost here, which raises an annual dilemma for consumers thinking about getting a new phone: hold on to what you got until the new slate of phones is released — likely next month — or hunt around for deals on last year’s models?

As the tech world turns its attention to the next range of devices, evidence suggests buyers could grab a discount on used models ahead of the announcement while those in the market for a new phone are likely better off waiting until after the new phones launch to take better advantage of the product cycle.

The International Space Station is set to release its Dragon cargo craft after the successful completion of its CRS-15 resupply mission. According to a recent NASA press release, the Dragon is targeting a Friday release with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

Once the craft hits the water, it will take about two days for authorities to get the capsule back to shore and unload its scientific cargo.

SpaceX’s manned launches are taking one step closer to reality. New images published this week shows how Elon Musk’s space-faring firm is preparing to send its first humans into space on the new Crew Dragon capsule. The flights, alongside missions planned with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, will be the first to send American astronauts into space on board a commercial spacecraft.

SpaceX has put its latest Falcon 9 through its paces. On Thursday, the space-faring firm shared two images of its first “Block 5” rocket, having successfully completed two missions in the space of three months. The scorched booster is integral to the company’s future plans to launch the same Falcon 9 rocket twice in just 24 hours.

Sorry, Elon Musk, but Beaker is now the first scientist to colonize Mars. NASA published a high-resolution photo of a dust storm on Mars’ south pole, revealing a case of pareidolia, the psychological phenomenon of seeing faces or shapes in unrelated objects. The appearance of Beaker was so well-defined in the Martian landscape that even the agency couldn’t deny his appearance. Meep.