90

Making a car run when it's been stored on Earth for 10 years can be a challenge. Storing it in space makes things worse. All lubricants will have evaporated. Cold welding is a possibility. The thermal environment is a variable. If the car + payload adapter tumble, the car will spend time in the shadow of the adapter, and you get thermal cycling which will ...


89

'Starman' is a mannequin (store dummy) wearing a real SpaceX developed space suit that was a qualification unit, used in designing the space suit for the Commercial Crew program. During the SpaceX Grasshopper program, where they tested landing a first stage in McGregor Texas they mounted a dummy with a cowboy hat on the base of the Grasshopper vehicle. ...


88

No, because it is not in Earth orbit First the payload does have a purpose: it is a boilerplate, and those have a purpose, namely to "test various configurations and basic size, load, and handling characteristics of rocket launch vehicles". Second, you are asking... is the car equipped with a propulsion system to change its trajectory in case of ...


66

The very first start of a new rocket is a risky endeavour. Since the system is put to test for the very first time as a whole, all kind of things can go wrong and chances are that the rocket doesn't make it into orbit. So a cheap, unimportant payload is needed for the first launch. You don't want to see something worth billions of dollars and having cost ...


63

Yes, it's space junk: after about 6 hours, the second stage will stop working and there will be no way to change the trajectory of stage and payload. So it's a non-functional satellite, i.e. junk. An object whose course cannot be controlled, and a potential future navigation hazard. It's not in Earth orbit, so it's unlikely to cause a problem here. There is ...


61

Up until this flight of Falcon Heavy, officially, SpaceX could not fully deliver a satellite to [nearly circular] GEO (Geosynchronous Earth Orbit), but only to a [highly elliptical] GTO (Geosync Transfer Orbit) that expects the payload to circularize its own orbit once at the appropriate altitude. This consumes fuel, and fuel for station keeping is one of ...


57

According to Elon Musk's Twitter it's in the glove compartment, alongside a copy of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and the Foundation series on the Arch disk.


57

My (somewhat educated) speculation: deposited contaminants due to outgassing from the various polymers on the dashboard and/or the hood. Vacuum and UV exposure tend to break down nearly every polymeric material. The volatile compounds that fly off in the process would deposit themselves as a haze on the windshield. As a side note, this is one reason you ...


50

Why not deliver something useful to the space station like a new living segment? Many, many reasons. A dummy payload is almost always used on the maiden flight of a new rocket. The risk of failure is too high to send anything of value as a payload. SpaceX cannot send something to the ISS just because they want to do so. They can only deliver cargo to the ...


47

The rocket probably had the power to do it, however there were numerous challenges: The Tesla is not a moon rover, its batteries and motors were not designed for a vacuum with the extremes of heat and cold it would have been exposed to on the lunar surface. The wheels are too small for rough terrain and some suspension components would crack in the extreme ...


46

As was astutely noted by Hans, the period of the movement was about 25 days. It turns out that is the time it takes for the sun to rotate once. When I was grabbing the data from JPL Horizons, I listed the target (center) as "coord@10". I should have omitted the "coord", as that means coordinates, or in other words, a point on the surface. Without that, it ...


45

Footnotes: ${}^1$ That the term "Space Junk" (as used in this answer and which is probably the right answer) has a different generally agreed meaning in spacecraft lingo than just plain "Junk" has been pointed out in this answer as well as in in this comment. No. 1. It is Space Art. It started as visual art (we watched it on YouTube, it was beautiful! (...


31

I've personally witnessed a similar phenomenon. Car Windshields are not solid glass, they are two layers of glass sandwiching a layer of urethane in a molecular bond. I was once in an armored vehicle that hit a landmine and the pressure and heat differential between the outside and inside of the windshield caused the three layers to de-laminate. It seems ...


30

It'll take a hot minute. According to the FlightClub.io simulation, the Falcon Heavy flight will be doing 138.7 m/s (496 km/h) at the 30 second mark, beating the Koenigsegg Agera RS. It should hit 341.5 m/s (1228 km/h) at 59 seconds into the flight, exceeding the speed of the ThrustSSC. It's been noted that the lunar rovers flown on the later Apollo ...


29

I first need to know if starman is a real human or a robot. Starman is the name given to the mannequin/space suit occupying the driver's seat of the car. It is not human nor is it a robot. If he is a real human, how does he live? If it were human, the spacex suit is meant to be used pressurized. Details about the suit have not been provided other ...


28

Let's look at some of the biggest stressors in the Tesla-Probe's lifetime- Launch- This will be a very stressful time. The car will be subject to around 3g for a few minutes, in a direction that it isn't accustomed to having any kind of force. Luckily the unofficial side-view of the Roadster shows that it is almost certainly mounted by the frame of the car, ...


27

I haven't been able to find any statements on the exact target orbit, but the general consensus is that the payload won't be in orbit around Mars, it will be in an eliptical orbit around the sun and 'touch' the area of space that Mars orbits within. Reaching an orbit around Mars requires much more fuel, the real goal of this launch is to test the rockets ...


27

The time didn't line up right, and the payload didn't meet planetary protection standards. The nearest launch window opens in June of this year. MAVEN will take advantage of it. To actually go to Mars, it would have to meet planetary protection standards, and I don't think a used car would qualify. What they did instead was to demonstrate they could go to ...


22

I think it's safe to say there's no particular plan here. Musk was never very specific as to what they would do with the roadster if it was successful (which Musk pegged at 50% at best). Reality is they needed to do the following today Launch the Falcon Heavy Separate the two boosters and return them Separate the core booster and return it (sadly the engine ...


22

Yes, if you placed your helmet on the door frame (assuming the loudspeaker is placed in the door) and made sufficient contact to hear contact noise. The loudspeaker vibrates the whole door. This assumes the stereo is still playing after all that time. The stereo (assuming maximum volume and 2x20 W of power draw) uses 1 kWh/day, so after 53 days it'll have ...


20

Without changes, no. The Falcon Heavy test didn't include a lander, so no way to get the Roadster to the Moon in one piece. You need about 2.5 km/s of delta-V to get from Earth escape to the lunar surface. Some of that (~0.7 km/s) could be provided by the second stage, that gets you to a low Moon orbit, but the 1.73 km/s from LLO to lunar surface has to be ...


19

First of all, can the color even be seen? James Webb has a spectrum of 600 nm at the lowest end, which means it can just barely see the color red. In addition, it could potentially be seen in other wavelengths that aren't visible. The spatial resolution is around 70 milli-arc seconds. That means that the Roadster, being about 4m in size (roughly) in it's ...


19

It depends. In the industry, the concern with space junk is whether or not certain objects are a navigational hazard. If the Falcon Heavy payload were on a collision course with an active spacecraft, then it would definitely be a navigational hazard, as it has no way to redirect itself. That said, there really isn't a lot to avoid out where it is going. As ...


19

The upper stage, coasted, through the Van Allen belts for 6 hours, and restarted to demonstrate that capability for the US Military customers for direct GEO insertion missions. The Roadster/Starman complex is still attached to the second stage, so as a unit, yes, for this purpose. After that, no. Musk in the post mission press conference said that there ...


18

Update: February 24, 2018 The 'Disco Ball': Created by Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck, the Humanity Star is a geodesic sphere made from carbon fibre with 76 highly reflective panels. It spins rapidly, reflecting the sun’s rays back to Earth, creating a flashing light that can be seen against a backdrop of stars. Visible for a few seconds, every 90 ...


16

When SpaceX launched the Falcon 1, it took them 4 times to successfully orbit the Earth. The most similar rocket to Falcon Heavy, in terms of the number of engines, the N1, made 4 attempts to reach orbit, all of which failed. The more engines, the more complex things are. The chance of a failure is extremely high on this launch. No one would be willing to ...


16

Sunlight pressure. The acceleration is 9.08 μN / m2 (Assuming perfect reflectivity). The size is about 3.66* 12.6 = 46 m2. That gives a thrust of about 414 uN. The mass is about 1300 kg. Thus the acceleration from sunlight max is about 3.2 e-7 m/s2. Of course, there are a lot of assumptions in that, the mass is probably higher, it won't be perfect ...


15

The closest approach will be on June 10, 2018, and will be approximately 0.74 AU away. So not very close. Per http://www.whereisroadster.com/close_approach.html But it is of some note that on October 10, 2020, Starman will only be 0.05 AU away, close enough to be affected by the gravity of Mars.


15

Nothing. The trajectory is such that it won't intersect any planet for a very long time. The sterilization requirements only apply if it is expected to hit an object within a short period of time. The actual requirement can be found here. Category III missions to Mars (flybys and orbiters), as well as cruise stages, as stated in Section 5.3.1.2 of NPR ...


14

The latest measurements used by JPL Horizons to calculate its trajectory were reported on 3/27 as follows: 2018-Mar-27: Two reporting sites (J94 & K93) extend data arc one month. That is the last update that is included on the site, and thus seems likely to be the last update. Looking at the two mentioned observatories, neither of them has a public ...


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