Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster is headed for a hell of a crash a few million years down the road, a new study suggests.
The SpaceX CEO wowed earthlings when he fired the world’s most powerful rocket and a Tesla roadster out of the atmosphere in an incredible show of the power of space travel last week.
Scientists have now said the billionaire business magnate’s car has a six per cent chance of crashing into Earth in the next million years, adding that it is likely to burst into flames and burn out before the collision.
The Czech and Canadian researchers also suggested there is a slim chance the vehicle’s journey could be brought to a fiery end by crashing into the Sun, but that it almost definitely would not collide with Mars.
Hundreds of computer simulations of the rocket’s journey created by the group show how the Tesla’s orbit would evolve over the course of the next 3.5 million years.
The scientists calculated that there is a 2.5 per cent the vehicle would smash into Venus, adding that they expected the probability of it colliding with Earth was more “substantial”.
In a paper published on Arxiv.org, its authors wrote: “We perform simulations to determine the fate of the object over the next several million years, under the relevant perturbations acting on the orbit.
“The orbital evolution is initially dominated by close encounters with the Earth. The repeated encounters lead to a random walk that eventually causes close encounters with other terrestrial planets and the sun.
“We estimate the dynamical lifetime of the Tesla to be a few tens of millions of years.”
Despite the rocket missing its Mars orbit and shooting off towards an asteroid field, Musk urged other rocket companies to join him in a “new space race” as he boasted of his latest mission.
Musk has not responded to the comments made in the research paper.