At the first National Space Council meeting in October, Pence emphasized that the U.S. will "win the 21st century in space," laying out a plan to focus on human spaceflight and get astronauts back to the moon. At today's meeting, hosted at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, he talked about the path toward that goal and brought in several panelists who supported loosening regulations to allow for more innovation from private spaceflight companies.
Falcon Heavy’s launch was seemingly flawless. Reminiscent of the ‘90s space shuttle or ‘60s Apollo mission days, people gathered around to watch the huge rocket launch into space. The Falcon Heavy’s side boosters landed perfectly side by side at landing pads for “future reuse” -- a concept unheard of in the aerospace industry.
The successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy has drawn attention in China as netizens compared the aerospace industry in China and the US, with experts saying China is working hard to catch up with the US.
Over 250 of America’s leading innovative companies will descend on Capitol Hill next week. These “suppliers” for the Space Launch System Rocket and Orion Spacecraft U.S. exploration programs will highlight how their work is helping drive U.S. innovation, creating thousands of high paying/hi tech jobs, and attracting the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics talent.
SpaceX, the private space company founded by billionaire Elon Musk, successfully launched the most powerful commercial rocket in the world on Tuesday. The Falcon Heavy, launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, took off with double the power of the world's next most powerful rocket, United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Delta IV Heavy.
Danielle Wood leads the Space Enabled research group at the MIT Media Lab, where she works to tear down the barriers that limit the benefits of space exploration to only the few, the rich or the elite. She identifies six technologies developed for space exploration that can contribute to sustainable development across the world -- from observation satellites that provide information to aid organizations to medical research on microgravity that can be used to improve health care on Earth. "Space truly is useful for sustainable development for the benefit of all peoples," Wood says.
The long-awaited Falcon Heavy rocket roared to life on Wednesday at 12:30 pm Eastern, as SpaceX fired up the 27 Merlin engines that power the triple-booster rocket at Kennedy Space Center. Perched atop what CEO Elon Musk claims will be the most powerful lift vehicle in the world is the billionaire’s Tesla Roadster, which will launch toward a Mars elliptical orbit on the Falcon Heavy’s upcoming maiden flight.
Want your own microsatellite constellation? The prospect just became much more realistic.
The administration genuinely appears to be motivated to accomplish real human space exploration goals within its term of office. It remains unclear, however, whether a sufficient budget will actually be allotted to enable execution of its ambitious policy, either in whole or in part. Federal budgets are challenging—and will be for the foreseeable future--but there is an extremely compelling reason why the administration should go “all in” on this plan and propose a budget that will enable the United States to aggressively move forward.
The basic outline of this mission was presented in mid-December at American Geophysical Union conference in New Orleans. JPL’s Anthony Freeman called the plan “nebulous,” noting that the mission doesn’t even have a name yet. The goal is to launch the as-yet theoretical probe in 2069, the one-hundred year anniversary of the moon landing. The design of the craft, launch vehicle, and propulsion system all remain unknowns.