SpaceX launch: Elon Musk shares 'last' image of Tesla car as it heads into deep space

The car was originally headed for orbit around Mars – but will now fly to the edges of our solar system

SpaceX 'Starman' glides into orbit in a Tesla Roadster after Falcon Heavy launch

Elon Musk has shared the last images of his "Starman" as he floats deep into space.

The SpaceX founder made history with his company this week when it sent the most powerful rocket on Earth up into space – where it dropped off Mr Musk's own car, before coming back down to land on the ground again.

The first images of the dummy, known as Starman, and the car he was sat in astonished the world. They offered a strange peek out our own Earth – an unprecedented view, with an electric car floating in the foreground.

The last is just as strange and exciting. It shows the Earth as a small globe behind the car, and the Starman continuing stoically in front.

Elon Musk sent 'Starman', a mannequin dressed in a spacesuit sitting in the driving seat of an electric sports car, into space in 2018

Clearly visible is the tiny version of Starman and his car that were put on the dashboard. They are a recreation of their bigger versions, put in as just one of the Easter eggs that SpaceX added to the car – alongside a plaque with the names of staff who worked on the launch, and a disc of Isaac Asimov books.

Usually, the top of a test rocket would just feature something to simulate the weight of an actual payload, such as a block of concrete. But Mr Musk said that including a car would be much more fun and not boring – "anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel," he said.

From the point shown in the picture, the car will continue to drift away from Earth. It was originally intended to fly into orbit around Mars – but overshot, and will now end up deep in our own solar system, flying towards the asteroid belt.

Mr Musk shared the picture with the caption: "Last pic of Starman in Roadster enroute to Mars orbit and then the Asteroid Belt."

It's not clear if Mr Musk means that this is the last picture he will share, or the last picture that will be received.

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