Last week, SpaceX used the first successful launch of their powerful new Falcon Heavy rocket to send CEO Elon Musk’s very own Tesla Roadster barreling towards Mars. At the time, the whole spectacle was complemented by a crash test dummy in the driver’s seat, David Bowie coming out of the speakers, and a live camera feed offering some stunning shots of a sports car cruising past planet Earth.
Well, batteries don’t last forever. That crash test dummy is still chilling with one arm out the side of the car somewhere in space, but the music and the live feed have since gone dark. Fortunately, one intrepid stargazer has figured out a way to estimate where the Roadster is as it continues its journey toward the general vicinity of Mars — whether it’ll actually enter Mars’ orbit and become the coolest moon ever remains to be seen.
I’m sure it’s parked around here somewhere …https://t.co/cq4LEhu4qD
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 18, 2018
The site isn’t affiliated with Tesla, although as the tweet above indicates, Musk doesn’t seem to mind too much. Ben Pearson, who refers to himself as “just this guy, you know” on his new website, Where is Roadster, has built a tool to at least give us an idea of where the Roadster might be. Using data from NASA’s Horizons system to figure out the position and orbits of the planets, Pearson put together a model based on the Roadster’s current trajectory in space. Not only will the model tell you around where the Roadster is today (still relatively close to Earth!), it shows how the Roadster will move through the Solar System day by day up through late 2020, when, if all goes well, the Roadster will finally get up close and personal with Mars.