ChatGPT: The Roaming Roadster

Image (Credit): The Tesla Roadster leaving Earth’s orbit. (SpaceX)

It’s time to check in again with ChatGTP to discuss another Elon Musk issue – the Tesla vehicle he launched into space using a SpaceX rocket. I recently asked ChatGPT, which was funded in part by Elon Musk, to provide a three paragraph summary discussing the launch of the Tesla Roadster into space as well as the current location of that Roadster. Here is the response:

In February 2018, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket into space, making it the most powerful operational rocket in the world. The rocket was carrying a special payload: a Tesla Roadster, driven by a mannequin named Starman wearing a SpaceX suit, was put into orbit around the sun. The Roadster, which was live-streamed as it traveled through space, was meant to be a whimsical demonstration of the Falcon Heavy’s capabilities, but it also became a symbol of Musk’s audacity and his willingness to take risks.

The Tesla Roadster is still orbiting the sun, travelling as far out as the orbit of Mars and as close to the sun as the orbit of Earth. Its precise location can be tracked using the website, which provides real-time updates on the car’s location based on data from the JPL Horizons system. The Roadster’s journey through space is expected to continue for millions of years, making it one of the longest-lasting man-made objects in space.

Although the Roadster was not intended to be a scientific mission, it has provided valuable data for astronomers and space enthusiasts. For example, it has been used to test the accuracy of simulations of the solar system, and to study the effects of space radiation on electric vehicle batteries. In addition, the Roadster’s journey has inspired a new generation of space enthusiasts and has sparked interest in the possibilities of space travel and exploration. It is a testament to the power of innovation, creativity, and the human spirit, and it serves as a reminder of the incredible things that can be achieved when people are willing to take risks and pursue their passions.

The summary amusingly states that this floating Roadster has provided “valuable data” and “…sparked interest in the possibilities of space travel and exploration.” It appears Mr. Musk still has his fingers in the program code. I believe NASA can get the data it needs without the use of a wandering automobile. Besides, you only need to know the impact of radiation on an EV battery if you plant to drive to Mars. And while I would agree that his “audacious” claims about a trip to Mars on the SpaceX Starship may have stimulated a few souls, creating a new form of space junk was seen for what it was – a dumb stunt.

All stunts aside, I look forward to seeing Mr. Musk focus again on Mars rather than areas outside of his expertise, such as Twitter. We need less space junk and more space missions with a destination in mind.