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Falcon Heavy: Where Is "Starman"? Elon Musk’s Red Roadster Is Circling Back

The “Starman” is coming back. SpaceX’s dummy started careening around the solar system on February 6, when the company launched its Falcon Heavy rocket on its first-ever flight. As the company gears up to launch the rocket for a second time, a tracker website shows how the car has started making its way back toward Earth’s orbit.

For the past year, SpaceX’s test dummy has been zooming around space, strapped in the driver’s seat of Elon Musk’s red Tesla Roadster. The payload was designed to test SpaceX’s rocket, which ranks as the world’s most powerful operational rocket. The original version produced a liftoff thrust of 4.7 million pounds, around double that of the currently operational Delta IV. It’s a record only outstripped by the Saturn V, which last flew in 1973 and could send 117,000 pounds to low Earth orbit.

SpaceX is set to fly the rocket for a second time when it launches Lockheed Martin’s Arabsat-6A communications satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The launch, scheduled for 6:36 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, will lift off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

In the meantime, the “WhereIsRoadster” website created by Ben Pearson has been tracking the “Starman” as it quietly careens through space. In November 2018, it showed the car had swung past Mars. The website currently shows the Roadster reaching the end of its depicted counterclockwise orbit to return to its original starting point.

The current location of the "Starman"

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With each rotation expected to take around 557 days, the “Starman” should reach its original start point around August 2019.

Musk’s Roadster contained a treasure trove of sci-fi and pop culture references. The dummy is kitted with a SpaceX spacesuit, the kind designed to send humans to the International Space Station and beyond. The in-car sound system plays David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on loop. Even the dashboard has a reference to the sci-fi novel series Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with a “Don’t Panic” sticker recalling the advice given by the guide within the novel. It also contains a “5D quartz laser storage device” containing Isaac Asimov’s Foundation book trilogy.

Pearson has produced a simulation of what the “Starman” may see out of the windshield during its journey.

The “Starman” has undergone an incredible journey. On a sense, it has exceeded its warranty of 36,000 miles around 15,250 times by “driving” around the sun 549 million miles at a speed of 55,906 mph. It’s a speed that even beats out the upcoming second-generation Roadster, expected to reach a paltry 250 mph at its top speed.

All this traveling has done wonders for the car’s fuel economy, which thanks to all this celestial travel now boasts a fuel consumption of 4,358 miles per gallon (assuming the car is powered by the equivalent of 126,000 gallons of gasoline, the equivalent amount of fuel in the Falcon Heavy). He’s probably grown sick of “Space Oddity” at this point, expected to have listened to it 115,672 times.

With the Falcon Heavy’s first commercial mission rapidly approaching, the “Starman” can take comfort in the fact that the initial mission helped pave the way for these more ambitious real-world uses.

CES in the 2020s? Expect VR, wearables, 5G, and maybe even space travel

As the world's largest consumer electronics show steps into the next decade, one of its organizers sees its remit expanding.

The Consumer Electronics Show is entering its seventh decade of existence, and it’s about to chart a bold new course in technological history — more mobile, more smart, and altogether a lot less visible.

The Las Vegas-based show has cemented itself as one of the most vital dates in the industry’s annual calendar. Spanning over 2.9 million square feet, the show plays host to more than 4,500 companies.

Tesla Cyberquad: specs, release date and details of all-electric ATV

The Cybertruck received a surprise addition after its unveiling.

Oh wait! We have uh…” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said toward the end of Tesla’s all-electric Cybertruck launch. “We made a, uh, we also made an ATV.”

Moments later, a Tesla representative rolled out perhaps one of the company’s most unexpected vehicles in its history. The ATV — later described as a “Cyberquad” on Tesla’s website — rolled out onto the stage, before rolling onto the back of the just-announced Cybertruck. Musk later confirmed on Twitter that the ATV would be a two-person vehicle available first as an option for the Cybertruck. Beyond those small initial details, little else is known about the company’s first foray into this type of vehicle.

You may hate Elon Musk, but the Cybertruck is good

Grimes' boyfriend just fucked up the auto industry again.

I don’t particularly like Elon Musk as a person, but in October, I bought (well, leased) one of his cars. I didn’t want to drive a gas-powered car anymore, both because fossil fuels are destroying the planet and because I am extremely lazy and tired of having to stop somewhere and put gas into my car. I ended up with a Tesla because there is literally no other car like it on the market — both in terms of how it performs in regards to range and drive, and how advanced its internal design and operation is. It is a once-in-a-lifetime, industry-defining vehicle. It really has no competition. My only problem with it, really, is that it looks too much like a regular car.

Tesla Cybertruck: 20 coolest photos and videos of the striking pickup truck

Tesla's latest electric vehicle comes with a surprising design.

Tesla’s Cybertruck is finally here. At a dazzling event at the Tesla Design Studio in Los Angeles on Thursday evening, CEO Elon Musk unveiled the vehicle he’d teased for several months prior as his personal passion project.

“You can order right now if you like,” Musk declared, before announcing a new order website.

Tesla Cybertruck pics, price: "Doesn't look like anything else," Elon Musk says

"Welcome to the cybertruck unveil!"

They hit its steel alloy body with a sledgehammer. They shot it with a 9-millimeter handgun gun. They showed off the toughness of its glass by dropping weights on it from a decent height. And they did it dressed as macho cybergoths.

This was the Tesla Cybertruck unveiling on Thursday night.