WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ELON MUSK'S STARMAN AND HIS TESLA ROADSTER NOW THEY ARE IN SPACE?
Where is the roadster going?
Starman was meant to be on a 250-million-mile (400m km) journey to Mars' orbit, propelled by the main module, which separated from Falcon Heavy shortly after launch.
But in a slight hiccup, Elon Musk admitted SpaceX overshot Falcon Heavy's third booster burn, sending Starman further into the solar system than was originally planned.
The new orbit will sent the Roadster on a journey into the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
What will happen to it?
The main force that will tear the car apart over hundreds of millions of years in space is radiation.
This will particularly affect the plastics and carbon-fibre frame.
'[Those materials] are made up largely of carbon-carbon bonds and carbon-hydrogen bonds,' Dr William Carroll, a chemist at Indiana University told Live Science.
On Earth we are protected by a powerful magnetic field and atmosphere that shields us from the worst of radiation from the sun and cosmic rays.
Radiation in space causes those bonds to break which will eventually cause the car to fall to pieces.
'When you cut something with a knife, in the end, you're cutting some chemical bonds,' Dr Carroll said.
'All of the organics will be subjected to degradation by the various kinds of radiation that you will run into there,' he said.
How long will it last?
'Those organics, in that environment, I wouldn't give them a year,' Dr Carroll said.
The well-secured inorganic materials, such as the aluminium frame and internal metals, would last longer, meaning it could still be recognisable in at least a million years. However, it is unlikely it will avoid all collisions with micrometeorites and other space junk in the meantime.
Before the launch Musk said there was a chance the car might hit Mars. Now on its new path it's not clear whether the car might run into some other space object. Source
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