City on Mars is possible

#space #Mars #ElonMusk #SpaceX #interplanetary #humans #colonization

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, mentioned that human colonies on Mars are possible in our lifetime. He also described the options for expanding to a space-bearing civilization and the advantages of Mars. He compared possible spaceships and rockets designs and performance features.

At present, the major challenge that faces engineers and scientists is the need to reduce cost per tonne of transporting materials to Mars by five million percent.

Musk also mentioned that as seen in history, there always is an extinction event at some point that wipes the entire civilization aka doomsday event. Human will be extinct if they stay on Earth forever. And the alternative to that will be to become a multi-planetary species.

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Musk is right. There will be an extinction event in the far future, however most of the people are sure that humans won’t need an extinction event if the current trend in population and pollution keeps growing, leading to a man-made catastrophe.

Learning more about Neutron Stars

#NASA #SpaceX #star #Sun #NeutronStar #Xrays #space #NICER

The Space X Dragon cargo capsule will reach the International Space Station by Saturday, which is carrying an unusual telescope designed to look at neutron stars. A neutron star has a diameter of 15-16 kms, and has a mass of more than twice the mass of the Sun. It has such high density that, one teaspoon of the star will weigh 10 million tons.

NICER, a Neutron Star Composition Explorer, is not an optical telescope. Rather it is a one meter cube made with solid aluminum. The face has 56 holes drilled, and the instrument has its own array of special lenses that deflect x-rays and focus them towards sensors fixed on the inner wall.

The lenses are 24 concentric aluminum cylinders, coated with a thin layer of gold, and bent very slightly. X-rays are used to study the neutron star because the neutron star is glowing in x-ray light, and in order to look at the surface of the star for interior make up.

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Having twice the mass of Sun within a ball of diameter 16 kilometers. That is incredible, and very dense. It will be interesting to know more about neutron stars for sure. Does it happen to every star when it cools off and compresses?

First military launch by SpaceX

#Military #SpaceX #space #satellite #US #NationalReconnaissanceOffice #rocket

SpaceX will be launching classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which makes and operates spy satellites for the US. Details regarding the payload haven’t been revealed, and the payload is only known as NROL-76. The mission will be using SpaceX Falcon 9 re-usable rocket, which will be blasted from Cape Canaveral, Florida between 7 am and 9 am on Sunday.

SpaceX, headed by Elon Musk, has already made successful landings using the re-usable rocket and this will be it’s first mission for the US military.

US military spends billions of dollars per year only to launch government satellites, and had been unfairly awarding all such contracts to United Launch Alliance until now.

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This is a great step for SpaceX, which if successful can mean millions of dollars in savings for the military.


Air Force to launch satellites using SpaceX rockets

#US #SpaceX #AirForce #space #rockets #Falcon9 #Boeing #LockheedMartin

The head of the Air Force Space Command said that the US Air Force was open to buying rides on SpaceX rockets that have already been used before. Just a week ago, SpaceX launched a communications satellite on a Falcon 9 booster that previously put a cargo ship into orbit for NASA, creating history and the idea of re-using rockets a reality.

Military and National security satellites, which were previously only sent by United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, will now also be sent using the SpaceX re-usable rockets. However, the company already has a backlog of more than 70 missions worth more than $10 billion.

The current cost of a basic Falcon 9 launch is $62 million currently, however SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell and team is still looking to make it lower. SpaceX is also planning to have the rocket ready and launched within 24 hours after its landing back on Earth.

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Wow. Some amazing things going on, this can affect the fate of large organizations like Boeing, Lockheed Martin and others. But at the same time, this ushers a new era of space launches and innovation.