He drives a cherry red Tesla Roadster. In space. While listening to David Bowie. He is … STARMAN and he’s cooler than all us Earthlings.

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy launched its unique test cargo into space Tuesday afternoon, successfully sending the Roadster and our dear Starman “driver” off for an unprecedented adventure. The much-anticipated launch demonstrated that SpaceX’s beefed-up rocket can lift heavier craft into space for future missions to the moon and Mars.

As the massive rocket shed its three boosters in a dazzling fire show and propelled the Starman toward Mars, we got our first look at the intrepid traveler behind the wheel. Calm and impossibly cool (he is a dummy with no actual human emotions, after all), Starman cruised into space listening to Bowie’s “Space Oddity” blaring on the Roadster speakers.

Yes, sending a sports car and astronaut-themed dummy into space is largely ridiculous — but the vehicle does serve an actual purpose. When new rockets are tested, they often carry a demonstration cargo load, like blocks of concrete or steel, to simulate the weight the rocket must lift into space. But SpaceX CEO Elon Musk thought this would be just too boring, so instead he launched an all-electric Tesla Roadster, with the daring Starman strapped into the driver seat.

Unless the Tesla Roadster smashes into Mars (unlikely) or an asteroid collides with the sleek vehicle, the Roadster and Starman will be floating through the solar system for a billion or so years. If all goes as planned, the car be positioned in a zone where it takes a lopsided, elliptical orbit around the sun. At times, this means the Roadster will swing out into deeper space, near the orbit of Mars.

Journey on far above the world, Starman.




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