SpaceX's Starman and Tesla Roadster Have Gone Beyond Mars

An illustration of SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket or BFR launching through Earth's clouds and toward space.       SpaceX

After initially claiming that Tesla will come to India this summer, in February 2017, not much has developed in this regard since then.

The second sentence of that tweet, of course, is a nod to the late, great writer Douglas Adams.

The founder of Tesla's Elon Musk plans to create a brand-new auto that runs on electric power, according to the with reference to AvtoDream.

"Next stop, the restaurant at the end of the universe", it said, referring to Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy sequel.

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. The vehicle was occupied by a mannequin dressed as an astronaut in the driver's seat, affectionately called the Starman, and a copy of Douglas Adam's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was stashed away in the glove compartment. Musk gave a presentation to PM Modi on the revolutionary technologies being developed by Tesla, which is likely to change the face of the motor industry and have wider implications on developing countries like India on renewable energy.

Either way, Starman's made it past Mars.

More: Fare thee well, "Starman"! Launching a satellite or other valuable spacecraft wasn't an option, given the risks inherent in maiden flights. The Tesla Roadster and its "driver" are still speeding through space, though it won't go much farther before looping back around towards the Sun again and repeating its trip for, well, we don't actually know how long.

NEW YORK, Nov 6 ― On Friday, SpaceX announced that Starman, the Tesla space Roadster's makeshift pilot, has officially passed Mars' orbit. There's a 6% chance of it colliding with Earth and a 2.5% chance of it smashing into Venus. The next Falcon Heavy payload put into space will be something a bit more useful - communications satellite called Arabsat-6A.

Mike Wall's book about the search for alien life, "Out There", will be published on November 13 by Grand Central Publishing.