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Historic SpaceX launch overshoots Mars


Posted on Thursday, 8 February, 2018 | Comment icon 91 comments

The Falcon Heavy launch was a major success for SpaceX. Image Credit: SpaceX
Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster is set to venture even further away from home than anyone had expected.
The air was filled with cheers on Tuesday as the world's most powerful rocket - the Falcon Heavy - soared in to the sky above Cape Canaveral for the first time.

The destination of its unusual payload was to be a heliocentric orbit roughly the same distance from the Sun as Mars, but now it seems as though the Falcon Heavy's boosters burned a little too long, pushing the car in to a wider orbit that will instead take it through the asteroid belt.


While the $100,000 Tesla is likely to remain in one piece for the foreseeable future, once it reaches the belt there will be a much greater risk of a collision.

Eventually, the radiation of space will also take its toll.

"All of the organics will be subjected to degradation by the various types of radiation that you will run into there," said William Carroll, professor of chemistry at Indiana University.

"As the bonds break, the car can literally fall apart."


Source: The Guardian | Comments (91)

Tags: SpaceX, Falcon Heavy

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #82 Posted by internetperson on 13 February, 2018, 12:12
Got a link? That doesn't sound right but I don't know much about this stuff.
Comment icon #83 Posted by Derek Willis on 13 February, 2018, 13:17
What doesn't sound right? That there are many rocket stages in orbit around the Sun? Every probe that travels to a planet, comet etc. needs to be accelerated to beyond Earth's escape velocity using a rocket stage. These stages go into orbit around the Sun. Here is a link to a Wiki page which gives some idea of how many have been launched during the last fifty-odd years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Solar_System_probes You can count them yourself!
Comment icon #84 Posted by Merc14 on 13 February, 2018, 15:00
Lists of objects in heliocentric orbit  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_artificial_objects_in_heliocentric_orbit
Comment icon #85 Posted by internetperson on 13 February, 2018, 17:35
I think we have the definition of orbit mixed up, that being said I'm looking to learn not argue so exclamation points are not necessary.
Comment icon #86 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 13 February, 2018, 17:45
How do you define orbit ? 
Comment icon #87 Posted by Derek Willis on 13 February, 2018, 17:55
I meant no offence: I was simply meaning that if you want to know how many rocket stages, probes, and other human-made objects are in orbit around the Sun, you can count them yourself.
Comment icon #88 Posted by Merc14 on 13 February, 2018, 17:59
If you are looking to learn then you'd tell us how you define orbit because no one knows what you are talking about here.
Comment icon #89 Posted by internetperson on 14 February, 2018, 15:41
No worries. I definitely need to read up on how the rockets work, stages during the flight, etc at some point in time. Most of my knowledge comes from watching Apollo 13. Oh and regarding the orbit thing: Something has to be specifically 'set' in orbit, right? So it didn't make sense to me that rocket stages or probes would consistently drop into orbit solely around the sun. But after checking out mercs link I see how heliocentric is different from what I was thinking. If heliocentric is redundant in this context then my bad.
Comment icon #90 Posted by Derek Willis on 14 February, 2018, 19:21
An orbit is simply the path an object follows under the influence of a gravitational field. We tend to think of orbits as being "closed", as in an ellipse or a circle (which is really just a special case of an ellipse). This is because the word "orbit" is derived from "orb" - ancient people used to think that the Sun, Moon, planets and stars were embedded on a series of moving glass orbs (spheres) all centered on the Earth. There are also "open" orbits, which are parabolic or hyperbolic. Whether an orbit is closed or open depends on the velocity of the object in question, and the strength of t... [More]
Comment icon #91 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 11 March, 2018, 9:48
   


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