Elon Musk’s red space-traveling Tesla Roadster continues to make history. NASA just officially listed the vehicle as a celestial object, using the same system for tracking bodies in the solar system like planets. Meteorologist Eric Holthaus tweeted the news and a link to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s HORIZONS Web-Interface so you can check it out – and the listing reveals a few details about what else was aboard that Roadster.
Gizmodo shared instructions for how to see NASA’s listing of the Tesla Roadster: once you click on the HORIZONS link: “click ‘change’ next to the target body, type in ‘SpaceX,’ hit enter, then click ‘Generate ephemeris.'” The Tesla Roadster is now described as a spacecraft, and the listing mentions the car’s passenger, a mannequin in a spaceman suit nicknamed Starman.
— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) February 8, 2018
The description of this new celestial object also says it “includes a Hot Wheels toy model Roadster on the car’s dash with a mini-Starman inside. A data storage device placed inside the car contains a copy of Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ novels. A plaque on the attachment fitting between the Falcon Heavy upper stage and the Tesla is etched with the names of more than 6,000 SpaceX employees.”
Musk recently shared on Instagram what he said will be the last photo of Starman on the way to Mars orbit and from there, the asteroid belt.
The HORIZONS System “provides access to key solar system data and flexible production of highly accurate ephemerides for solar system objects (755,287 asteroids, 3,510 comets, 178 planetary satellites, eight planets, the Sub, L1, L2, select spacecraft, and system barycenters),” per the website. It seems Musk’s Tesla Roadster is now among those select spacecraft.