Saturday, 18 August, 2018

SpaceX launch spurs reflections on 'worthy venture'

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from historic launch pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Fla. Feb. 6 2018 Elon Musk shows off the dummy that's going to Mars in a Tesla
Troy Mann | 11 February, 2018, 04:00

That company's prospects are looking good: On Tuesday, It launched the largest rocket in operation, the Falcon Heavy.

The Falcon Heavy is lighter than the spacecraft Musk's company is now designing-the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which will use 31 engines, that are also more powerful than the Falcon Heavy's.

SpaceX is competing with Boeing to be the first to send Americans into orbit from USA soil again, something that hasn't happened since NASA's last shuttle flight. In a great article in The Atlantic on February 8, Marina Koren brings together information from astronomers, who were also talking on Twitter on launch day, following Musk and checking his facts.

I mean, just think about this for a second: Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster is headed towards Mars, covered in cameras to capture Starman and the vehicle from a variety of different angles.

First announced to the public in 2011, Falcon Heavy is expected to generate 5.1 million pounds of thrust at liftoff and will be capable of carrying more than 140,000 pounds to low-Earth orbit.

Their visit was further rewarded eight minutes after liftoff when two of the rocket's side cores performed a tandem landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and generated back-to-back sonic booms during the descents.

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Falcon Heavy's successor - and the SpaceX rocket that could make an unmanned mission to Mars - would be the irreverently-named rocket now known as BFR, or "Big Fucking Rocket".

Musk isn't the only wealthy entrepreneur investing in space travel. Musk himself, however, took only a few hours to bask in the glow of the Falcon Heavy's success before setting his sights on something bigger and better: the SpaceX BFR.

The vehicle and battery biz hemorrhaged $675.4m in the three months ending 31 December compared with a loss of $121m for the same period the previous year. He's in charge of the carmaker as well as the private space company.

But it didn't take long for online commentators to come up with freaky conspiracy theories, surrounding both the payload and intentions of SpaceX founder Elon Musk. Then again, if we're talking about productions so elaborate as this one, then it's perfectly explainable.

Musk, born in South Africa, co-founded the payments company Paypal, which revolutionized the way consumers could pay for merchandise online in the 1990s. In the third quarter, Tesla it was a record $1.4 billion.

The automotive company added that it delivered 1,550 of the mass-market cars during its fourth quarter, which is only slightly more than half of what analysts had projected. But, most importantly, the idea of going to Mars (the red planet) in style (a red convertible Tesla) just captured everyone's imagination. If it does, the package could vault him into the ranks of the world's richest people.

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