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Elon Musk’s Tesla, Starman fly past Mars 2 years after SpaceX launch

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  • In February 2018, SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster owned by the company’s founder, Elon Musk, into deep space.
  • The electric vehicle, which has a spacesuit-clad “Starman” dummy in the driver’s seat, just made its first flyby of Mars.
  • To Starman, Mars would have appeared to be about one-tenth the size of the moon as seen from Earth, the astronomer Jonathan McDowell said.
  • The vehicle and its unlikely passenger, launched on the upper stage of a Falcon Heavy rocket, may travel for millions of years before crashing, most likely back into Earth.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An electric car that Elon Musk rocketed into space more than two years ago just flew past Mars for the first time.

SpaceX, the rocket company Musk founded, launched his old Tesla Roadster aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket in February 2018 with a spacesuit-wearing dummy named “Starman” at the wheel.

The car also carried a Hot Wheels model of itself with a miniature Starman inside. In storage, it holds a copy of the sci-fi novels “Foundation” by Isaac Asimov and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, along with a towel and a sign that says “Don’t Panic.” The car’s speakers even blasted the song “Space Oddity” by David Bowie after launch.

Since then, the rocket’s second stage has glided through space with no fuel to propel it, with Musk’s old red car perched on top of it.

“It’s a rocket stage with a hood ornament,” Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who independently calculated the Tesla’s close Mars pass, told Business Insider.

spacex falcon heavy launch

An illustration of Musk’s Tesla atop the upper stage of a Falcon Heavy rocket.


SpaceX/YouTube



The Tesla was supposed to slip into a circular orbit between Mars and the sun. But the mission

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SUCCESS INSIDER: Upwork, jobs at Google, Elon Musk’s management style

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The coronavirus pandemic will open more career opportunities for freelance work. Here’s how you can build a successful freelancing career, according to the CEO of Upwork, one of largest job platforms for gig workers.

Read more here.

This week, we have details on Elon Musk’s management style, tips for getting hired at Google, innovators in the childcare industry, how to pitch a startup over Zoom, and more. 

Elon Musk’s management style is a case study in why micromanagers are a big risk for business — and especially talent retention

elon musk

Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition March 9, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee/Getty Images


Elon Musk’s approach to leadership has made him the third-richest man on earth, with a net worth of $102 billion. But the Tesla CEO has long been criticized for a micromanaging leadership style that creates toxic company culture and ultimately hurts his business ventures.

Read more here.

PITCH MASTER: The ultimate founder’s guide to convincing an investor to fund your startup over Zoom

man talking laptop business video chat at home



Prasit photo/Getty Images


The Zoom pitch is on the rise and presents another challenge for entrepreneurs to get their point across to investors using only their screens. Russ Wilcox, an entrepreneur and partner at Pillar VC, gave seven tips for a winning pitch over Zoom, starting with a convincing bio.

Read more here.

CHILDCARE INNOVATORS: 5 startups reviving the early education industry by addressing preschool shortages, taking learning virtual, and helping providers better run their businesses

childcare innovators 2x1



Courtesy of Melody Kiang; Courtesy of Jessica Eggert; Courtesy of Chris Bennett; Courtesy of Sarahjane Sacchetti; Samantha Lee/Business Insider


With limited childcare options and shortages, many working parents are struggling to strike a work-life balance during the pandemic. These five early childhood education companies are aiming to