Earlier this month, Elon Musk’s private aerospace company SpaceX engaged in a bit of intra-Elon cross-promotional skullduggery by launching Musk’s personal Tesla electric vehicle into the solar system. Someone got so excited about this that they created a website called whereisroadster.com that uses data from NASA’s Jet Propulsion laboratory that allows people to see where exactly in space the Tesla is. According to the site’s “About” page, whereisroadster.com was started by a guy named Ben Pearson who as far as I can tell is in no way affiliated with Elon Musk. It had 25,000 visitors in its first day of existence. People are very excited about Elon Musk’s Space Tesla.
Elon Musk’s Tesla does not need to be in space. I very firmly believe this. There is already an estimated 500,000 pieces of unnecessary crap in outer space at the moment, and it’s become such a problem that Chinese scientists recently proposed blasting it away with lasers. Now, there is yet another piece of unnecessary crap in space, and Elon Musk put it there to convince people to buy Teslas from him.
The Space Tesla seems like an even more questionable idea when you consider that scientists have determined that over the next million years, there is a six percent chance that the Space Tesla will crash into the earth. A six percent chance that the Space Tesla will crash into the earth — stretched out over a million-year span — is extremely low, and it’s mind-bogglingly improbable that the car would hit the earth while we’re still alive. But the same scientists who made the six-percent-over-a-million prediction also noted that if we stretch that one million years into several tens of millions, the odds of the Space Tesla smacking into the earth become 50 percent. Still unfathomably low odds, and even if it does happen, the result would be benign due to most or all of the Tesla burning up in the earth’s atmosphere. But you know what the odds of a Tesla careening out of the solar system and onto the earth would be if Elon Musk hadn’t put one into space in the first place?
That question is rhetorical, but the answer, for the record, is zero. Just saying.