SpaceX

Starship

Say what you will, but the man has panache, and a keen sense of the moment. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1178014342031298561

This is the just-assembled Starship Mk1 Prototype, which will make its first test flight (to 20 km) next month. It's intended to be a reusable spacecraft that will go to the moon and Mars.

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Posted on Facebook and Twitter.

LightSale 2 Unfurls

LightSail 2 Unfurls, Takes Next Step Toward Space Travel by Solar Sail: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/23/science/lightsail-solar-sail.html. The Planetary Society crowd-funded and deployed LightSail 2 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, aiming to further demonstrate the potential of the technology for space propulsion.

“The ability to sail across the cosmos, powered by the energy of the sun, is finally becoming a reality.

Engineers in California pressed a button on Tuesday that unfurled the sails on a satellite that can be steered around Earth, advancing long held hopes for an inexhaustible form of spaceflight and expanding the possibilities for navigating the voids between worlds.”

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Originally posted on Twitter.

To the Moon and Beyond

Everything you ever wanted to know about Artemis, the lunar gateway and other lunar plans - and then some: https://www.bbc.co.uk/…/e…/nkzysaP3pB/to-the-moon-and-beyond.

I do feel like the article minimizes the near-certain role SpaceX and/or Blue Origin rockets and modules are going to play, in favor of presenting the official NASA line (Orion, SLS). But otherwise it's an informative, wide-ranging article (without getting into the nitty-gritty technical details).

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Originally posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Falcon Heavy Fireworks

The good kind ;). From the hugely difficult - and - hugely successful - SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch this week, an incredible image by astrophotographer Erik Kuna. In the photographer’s own words: “Cannot believe this happened just above the earth on the edge of the Mesosphere and Thermosphere around 85-120km in altitude yet it looks like something from a deep space Hubble telescope image.”

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Initially posted on Twitter.

The Next Space Race

In 2019, on the brink of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the competition that will rocket humanity into the cosmos is between two passionate and brilliant multi-billionaires: Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

This blog outlines each of their capabilities, as well as their near-term and long-term vision for the final frontier: https://singularityhub.com/2019/05/24/the-next-space-race-bezos-vs-musk/.

The article includes a lot of insights into the personalities at play, their origins, and the details of their respective visions.

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Originally posted on Twitter.

Trifecta

SpaceX has successfully landed all 3 boosters of its Falcon Heavy rocket at 3 separate locations - and it's only the 2nd flight of the Falcon Heavy.

Space is hard, and in a very busy week for our accelerating journey into the stars, 2 huge success and one near miss isn't too bad. 🤗

Here's some insane footage of the side booster landings from multiple cameras at once: https://twitter.com/DJSnM/status/1116472530531958784

Credit for the images below: Jason Major (https://twitter.com/JPMajor/status/1116471931002400776) and Roman Tkachenko (https://twitter.com/_RomanTkache…/status/1116471879093620736).

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For a ton of jaw-dropping images of the launch, including the ones below, check out astrophotographer Trevor Mahlmann’s Twitter feed and website.

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Originally posted on Facebook.

A Busy Week in the Stars

It's a busy week for our accelerating journey into the stars, so keep one eye on the news - or this page, because you know I'll be posting. 😎

Wednesday at 9am EST, scientists are expected to reveal the first ever direct imaging of the event horizon of a black hole 😯, as part of the results of the Event Horizon Telescope (actually 10 radio telescopes on 4 continents). It's a surprise whether the image and data will relate to Sag A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, or the one in the M87 galaxy. You can watch the press conference here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7WUmAgTKJg.

Wednesday evening (EST), SpaceX will conduct its second launch of its massive Falcon Heavy rocket - then attempt to land the central core and both side boosters at 3 separate locations. 😲 You can watch the launch and landings here: https://www.spacex.com/webcast.

Thursday afternoon (EST), the Israeli privately funded Beresheet lunar lander will attempt to - you guessed it. Land on the moon. 🌝 You can watch the landing here: https://contactgbs.com/space/.

✨💫✨

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Originally posted on Facebook.

We Want Them To Be Real One Day

“We want the things in Science Fiction novels and movies not to be Science Fiction forever, we want them to be real one day.” - Elon Musk

Photo from right outside Pad 39a of the very real #SpaceX #CrewDragon #dm1 launch. Photo credit: Erik Kuna (@erikkuna)

I am loving this quote so much - not surprisingly :). Loving the photo, too!

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Originally posted on Twitter.

Crew Dragon

LIFTOFF! The next big leap in a new chapter of U.S. human spaceflight systems has begun. @SpaceX’s #CrewDragon demo flight is the 1st commercially-built & operated American spacecraft designed for humans to dock at the @Space_Station. NASA: “Today’s successful launch marks a new chapter in American excellence, getting us closer to once again flying American astronauts on American rockets from American soil."

For this demo launch, Crew Dragon is staffed with a sensor-laden dummy named “Ripley.” The capsule will arrive at the ISS on Sunday, where it will attempt its first autonomous docking (previous non-crew Dragon capsules have been snagged and guided in by an arm on the ISS controlled by astronauts on board).

NASA Press Release: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-spacex-launch-first-flight-test-of-space-system-designed-for-crew

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Originally posted on Facebook and Twitter (1st tweet, 2nd tweet).