Elon Musk’s Tesla ‘Starman’ has completed his first orbit around the sun

Rob Waugh
Contributor
A Tesla roadster launched from the Falcon Heavy rocket with a dummy driver named "Starman" heads towards Mars. (Photo by SpaceX via Getty Images)

In what might be described as a giant leap for mannequin-kind, Elon Musk’s ‘Starman’ has completed its first orbit of the sun after launching into space in a red Tesla Roadster last year.

The launch - the first flight for the Falcon Heavy Rocket - saw the Tesla fly into space playing David Bowie’s ‘Life n Mars’.

The tracking site WhereIsRoadster.com reports that the Tesla’s radio will now have played the song 150,000 times (if it’s still working).

The car’s orbital period is 557 Earth days and it’s been in orbit for 561 days, travelling 760 million miles around the sun.

The car (basically a test payload for the rocket) carried a secret message hidden away on a circuit board.

Musk had left the message, ‘Made on Earth by humans.’

Musk doesn't plan to fly people on the Heavy, but is working on an even bigger rocket for deep space crews.

He announced this week that his company Tesla is trying to spark its solar-panel business by letting consumers rent rooftop systems rather than buy them.

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Musk announced the offering in a series of tweets Sunday.

The company will allow residents of six states to rent solar-power systems starting at $50 a month - or $65 a month in California - for a small set-up.

Musk says consumers can cancel anytime, although Tesla's website says there's a $1,500 charge to remove panels and restore the roof to its previous condition.

Electric car-maker Tesla bought residential solar installer SolarCity for $2.6 billion in 2016 but installations have plunged in recent quarters. Tesla stopped selling systems in Home Depot stores.

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