Will Starman return past Earth? Surely SpaceX just can't say whoops, sorry, we missed our Mars orbit target and there's a chance Starman will come back near earth down the track?
Does SpaceX submit all its plans to NASA? or who governs free space?
StarMan will not be orbiting Mars. He was never intended to orbit Mars.
Initially, data indicated that StarMan, in his cherry-red Tesla Roadster, would reach an orbit outside that of Mars (nearing the asteroid belt). Further research concluded that StarMan is set to overshoot the orbit of Mars before stabilizing his orbit around the Sun.
StarMan's next closest approach with his home planet will be in 2020 at a distance of 28 million miles.