On Feb. 6 at 3:45 p.m. EST, a modified Greneker Bendable Mannequin inside a prototype SpaceX space suit embarked on a journey into outer space as part of SpaceX’s launch of its new Falcon Heavy rocket. The mannequin, which was seated in a 2008 Tesla Roadster and dubbed “Starman” by SpaceX’s Elon Musk, is on a six-month, 200-million-mile journey to Mars. If successful, Starman will drive his Roadster in a solar orbit stretching to Mars and back, and will continue this journey for “millions of years,” according to Musk.
The team at SpaceX challenged Greneker, via a partner company in December 2017, to develop a cost-effective method for displaying its new space suit that could also withstand the hostilities of space travel. Matching SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s preference for made in the USA, the Greneker Bendable mannequin was selected. Before receiving final certification for space travel, the Bendable mannequin was subjected to an intensive review of every material, component, and fabrication method.
Following the launch, SpaceX shared the first hours of Spaceman’s journey via a live feed.