The Tesla car that Elon Musk launched into space is likely to stay there for tens of millions of years before crashing into the Earth or Venus.
That’s the conclusion of an analysis by Czech and Canadian researchers.
They calculated that the roadster has a 6% chance of colliding with Earth and a 2.5% probability of hitting Venus over the next million years.
But there’s no cause for concern: if it eventually returns to Earth, most of the vehicle will burn up.
The team’s computer simulations suggest there is a very slim chance of the vehicle colliding with the Sun, but little to no chance of the car hitting Mars.
The results have been published on the Arxiv.org pre-print server.
US entrepreneur Musk launched the car into space on 6 February, atop his new rocket, the Falcon Heavy – which is the most powerful launcher currently available.
The whimsical payload selected for the experimental flight was Musk’s old cherry-red Tesla sports car.
A space-suited mannequin was strapped in the driver’s seat, and the radio set to play a David Bowie soundtrack on a loop.
It was despatched into an elliptical orbit around the Sun that extends as far out as the Planet Mars.