No amount of money will buy you a ticket to Mars right now, but SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says the cost of relocating to another planet could be $500,000 in the not-too-distant future. If you decide you don’t like it on Mars, no problem; you can come back to Earth for free. Musk cautions that his ballpark estimate is highly dependent on volume, though.
It’s been a long time coming, but NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is close to its first launch. SpaceX says it is currently planning for the initial test flight of its crewed Dragon capsule next month. This comes after a series of setbacks as both SpaceX and Boeing trudged through the testing and review process that will eventually return manned spaceflight to the US.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket does not have a spotless record. In the last few years, SpaceX has lost one vehicle on the launchpad and another broke apart en route to the International Space Station (ISS). Yet, SpaceX is on a roll as it nears three dozen successful Falcon 9 launches in a row. The company is also cruising toward certification to ferry astronauts to the ISS.
David Strauss, an analyst and oddsmaker at MyBookie, says NASA is the underdog and Musk is the favorite. “Bezos may have the discipline, but Musk has the infrastructure and just the right amount of craziness to make a successful mission happen,” he said today in a news release. “The days of government organizations staging trips to another planet are behind us. I would be surprised if NASA truly makes it back to the moon.”
The future of Tesla may be imperiled by a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit that seeks to oust Elon Musk, the chief executive. But SpaceX, one of Musk’s other companies, has continued to garner support from its key customers, especially NASA, which can’t afford to see one of its main suppliers falter.
SpaceX confirmed last week that it had plans to launch a space tourist to the moon, but the identity of that person would not be revealed until Monday evening.
Sixty years after NASA was formed, countries around the world have joined the space race, with an eye to putting a person on Mars. But experts say the future of space activity may rest with private corporations that are building their own products, launching commercial satellites and even exploring small missions. In spite of interplanetary probes like New Horizons, which have reached past Pluto, and successful robotic explorations of Mars, some scientists say progress isn't coming quickly enough.
NASA has announced the nine astronauts that will crew the test flights and first missions of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Crew for the Starliner test flight are NASA astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Aunapu-Mann and Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have been selected to take part in the Crew Dragon test flight.
Within a decade, U.S. troops may get some supplies from prepositioned stocks in space -- if the Air Force’s mobility commander can make his vision come true. Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II is already talking with SpaceX and other space-services companies about that and other space-related initiatives, the leader of Air Force Mobility Command told reporters at a Defense Writers Group breakfast Thursday.
July 24, 2018 - Chairman Lamar Smith of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee gave remarks today at the Hudson Institute’s discussion of the New Era in Space. Smith’s remarks touched on the growing private sector presence in space and how the government can effectively collaborate with industry while spurring investment and innovation.