I have been watching Starman’s current location through the tracking that is being provided Falcon Heavy/Tesla 2018-017A.
The current orbit shows Starman’s current apogee 6,957 km and with a perigee of 187.7 km. I have watched tracking since this morning and do not see any change. Starman’s orbit seems to be constant on a 164.5 minute interval between apogee and perigee.
Initially I assumed that when it was stated that Starman’s third burn would send it into permanent orbit heading out into space past Mars that it meant the earth would get smaller and smaller from that point on.
It was than announced that the 3rd burn had taken place and that the permanent orbit had been established that would take Starman even further out into space than was planned.
I watched the tracking thinking at first that I would be able to watch Starman head out into space… yet I was surprised to discover that it wasn’t happening the way I thought.
So my question is what will cause Starman’s current orbit to change from the apogee of 6,957 km and a perigee of 187.7 km to one that eventually takes Starman out to an Apohellion of 2.62 AU.
Will there be another burn maneuver performed that will change Starman’s current orbit?
My other assumption is that I am missing something on the tracking page and the current orbit is changing in a subtle way but becoming greater after each iteration of apogee and perigee.
Or maybe it is the influence of Mars gravity as Earth's orbit gets closer to Mars orbit as it seems to appear that it eventually will on the chart above... but that seems like a far stretch to think that Mars gravity could influence a spacecraft still in orbit within 6,947 km of Earth at it's apogee...
Any help in understanding what I am observing and what is actually taking place would be appreciated!