Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster, which launched on top of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy on Tuesday, is going farther out into the Solar System than originally planned. The car was supposed to be put on a path around the Sun that would take the vehicle out to the distance of Mars’ orbit. But the rocket carrying the car seems to have overshot that trajectory and has put the Tesla in an orbit that extends beyond the Red Planet’s path. However, the Tesla won’t be making it to the asteroid belt, as SpaceX CEO Elon Musk originally claimed.
After launch, the Tesla cruised through space for a good six hours — a trip that was also live-streamed by SpaceX. This “coast” phase was meant to show off a special orbital maneuver for the US Air Force before the rocket completed one final engine burn in space and put the car on its final orbit. It looks like that burn might have happened somewhere over Southern California, as some people in the area started reporting sightings of the rocket igniting in the night sky after 9:30PM ET on Tuesday.
Third burn successful. Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt. pic.twitter.com/bKhRN73WHF
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2018
Now it seems that engine ignition worked a little too well. Musk originally tweeted out a map on Tuesday of what was thought to be the Roadster’s final orbit after the burn, showing just how far out the car would travel. And it looked like the Tesla would go out into the asteroid belt, getting…