While speaking at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London in November, the billionaire former Paypal Internet executive, Tesla electric car entrepreneur, and current Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) CEO and self-taught lead rocket engineer, Elon Musk, described his plan to enable a self-sustaining human colony on the planet Mars. This plan is to use reusable rockets and along with Mars landing and ascent craft to take mankind to Mars within 15 years. And to do it Musk announced that liquid oxygen (Lox) and Methane would be SpaceX’s principal propellants of choice.
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Slow motion film footage appears to show the Merlin 1c engine “letting go” emitting hot gases and eventualy causing debris to fall away. SpaceX notes that the engine stayed intact and that the debris was part of the rocket structure.
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and SES announced an agreement to launch three additional SES satellites, on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy rockets.
This launch agreement – concluded through SES’ affiliate company SES-SL – adds to the luanch agreement siged in March 2011 for the launch by SpaceX of SES-8 in 2013. All four Falcon missions will support the enhancement of SES’ global fleet of satellites. The first of the new batch of SES/Space X launches is scheduled for 2015.
The Minister of State for Universities and Science, the Rt Hon David Willetts MP used the Farnborough International Air Show to announce the new ‘Civil Space Strategy’ setting out the direction for the UK space sector over the next four years. With the UK space sector growing at 7.5% growth remains the aim for the UK Space Agency. Other space agencies were taking note. The Director General of the European Space Agency, Jean-Jacques Dordain, said that he was learning from the United Kingdom with respect to “taking competitive lessons” adding that it was the “right time for ESA to go for competitiveness and growth”.
On the successful firing of its Merlin 1D engine, Space Exploration Technologies, with more than a note of self congratulation, states that the “enhanced design makes the Merlin 1D the most efficient booster engine ever built” further noting that it has “a vacuum thrust-to-weight ratio exceeding 150″,
Flushed with success from its Falcon 9/Dragon launch to the International Space Station, Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) launch firm has announced that it now has a commercial launch contract with Intelsat to launch commercial communications satellites via its Falcon 9 Heavy rocket.
If anything certain emerged out of the US Senate hearing (go here for archived webcast) yesterday it was that no one really knows how long any space transportation programme will take or how expensive it will be
VIDEO: SpaceX 13 March Falcon 9 Merlin engines test firing
Former US Marine Corp Major-General Charles Bolden must by now be reflecting upon the military axiom, no plan survives contact with an enemy. In this case Bolden’s enemies are the Congressmen and women hell bent on not accepting the president Barack Obama spaceflight plan
Care of Space Fellowship here is the Space Exploration Technologies time lapse video of the roll out of its Falcon 9 flight one vehicle scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral in the next couple of months
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- Hyperbola space news blog moves to www.seradata.com
- Antares 120 launch vehicle successfully lofts Cygnus cargo craft plus a Flock of Dove satellites (Corrected)
- International Space Station gets new lease of life as ESA eyes Dream Chaser to get there
- Solaris is sold to Echostar as it builds an S-band business
- SpaceX has another commercial flight success with Falcon 9 v1.1 launch of Thaicom-6
- Bill on India’s unmanned Mars mission announcement causes backlash
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