The world stood in awe at the sight of the Spacex Falcon Heavy launch vehicle a couple of weeks ago. We were further amazed to see Elon Musk’s own Tesla convertible aboard the rocket, being piloted by a dummy in an official SpaceX space suit. Originally, the plan was for the convertible to slingshot around the sun and then settle into a permanent orbit around Mars. Unfortunately, the rocket was more powerful than expected and it overshot it’s target, sending the car in the direction of the asteroid belt. Now, some scientists are saying that there’s a small chance we could end up seeing the car again, when it crashes back into Earth.
Before you get too worried, take a hint from the dashboard sign on Musk’s car and “Don’t Panic.” Hanno Rein, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto thinks that there is a 2.5% chance the car could actually end up colliding with either Earth in the next million years or Venus in the next ten million years.
In a statement released by the university, the car is ““a Mars and Earth crossing orbit, meaning it will travel on an elliptical path that repeatedly carries it beyond Mars and then back to Earth’s orbital distance from the sun.” In fact, if you are stick around in 2091, you’ll get to see the first time it passes within a couple hundred thousand kilometers of the planet.