Elon Musk’s Mars rocket Starship moves to launch pad as orbital test flight looms

SpaceX must obtain a licence from US authorities before the rocket can take off

By Sarwat Nasir

A prototype of Elon Musk’s Mars rocket, known as Starship, was moved to its launch pad on Wednesday in preparation for an orbital test flight.

Images published by SpaceX showed Ship 24 being taken to a pad in Starbase, the launch site the company uses in Boca Chica, Texas.

Starship is set to be the world’s most powerful rocket and SpaceX plans to use it to send humans and cargo to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

“Ship 24 was transported to the pad at Starbase in preparation for the first orbital flight test of Starship,” SpaceX said on Twitter.

Starship has been in development for many years and has completed high-altitude tests, but it has not yet completed an orbital flight.

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX pulls another $1.7 billion in funding

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule docks at the International Space Station in April. ASSOCIATED PRESS

By Claudia Assis

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, has pulled in another $1.7 billion in equity funding, according to a filing Monday.

Privately held SpaceX, led by Tesla Inc. TSLA, 12.25% Chief Executive Elon Musk, sold about $1.68 billion in new equity in a $1.72 billion offering, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The first sales occurred late last month, it said. 

The round brings the company’s valuation to about $125 billion, from about $100 billion late last year. 

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Elon Musk’s dream Mars rocket gets green light to launch, with conditions

SpaceX’s giant Starship rocket standing at its Texas launch pad. Elon Musk’s company is looking to attempt the first orbital test flight of the nearly 400-foot-tall Starship sometime this year.

While the US government has found “No Significant Impact”, it is placing some limitations on launches and conditions that need to be met to operate the futuristic base.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX cleared a major hurdle as the US government concluded an environmental review of its gigantic, futuristic Starship base in Texas. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) saw no environmental concerns but laid down 75 conditions to reduce the impact on the region.

The environmental review was for the proposed SpaceX Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket program in Boca Chica located at the southernmost tip of Texas, about 1,000 miles west of Cape Canaveral where SpaceX launches astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station for Nasa.

Following the decision, SpaceX tweeted, “One step closer to the first orbital flight test of Starship.”

However, there’s no guarantee a launch license will be issued, since other factors such as safety and financial responsibility requirements still must be met at the Boca Chica site, according to the FAA. The agency said as a result of the requirements there will be more advanced notice of launches to reduce a highway closure during launch operations.

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Elon Musk: SpaceX will build over 1,000 Starships to move 1 million humans to Mars

Starship | First test vehicle.

By  Chris Young

They’re basically very ‘modern Noah’s Arks.’

It’s not so long ago, in the grand scheme of things, that SpaceX was struggling to make it to orbit.

Last week, May 31, marked the 10-year anniversary of the completion of SpaceX’s first Dragon mission, COTS 2, to and from the International Space Station. 

Only a few years before, on September 28, 2008, the company reached orbit on its fourth attempt with Falcon 1.

Despite his PR inelegance and all his deadline exaggerations, it’s hard to argue against SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s impressive track record when it comes to spaceflight — his most far-out statements are known to cause even skeptical space enthusiasts to froth at the mouth. 

Still, Musk’s latest claim shared on Twitter, alongside a slide deck for a presentation he recently gave at SpaceX, will likely prove divisive.

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Pentagon wants SpaceX delivering cargo around the globe — and a live test could come next year

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is seen in this false color infrared exposure as it is launched on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station on May 30, 2020.

By Aaron Mehta 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Transportation Command is taking the potential for cargo delivery via orbit seriously enough that it hopes to test the concept with SpaceX as soon as next year, the command’s head said Wednesday.

In what he called a “provocative thought,” Gen. Stephen Lyons said: “I’m really excited about the team that’s working with SpaceX on an opportunity, even perhaps in as early as ’21, to conduct a joint proof of principle” for space-based delivery.

The dream, Lyons told the National Defense Transportation Association, is to be able to move 80 tons of cargo — the equivalent of a C-17 transport — via a space-based vehicle anywhere on the globe within one hour.

“Think about the speed associated with that, whether a small force element or other capability,” he said. “I can tell you [SpaceX is] moving very, very rapidly in this area.”

A TRANSCOM spokesman said details of the potential “proof of principle” are being worked out with SpaceX, and it will involve “delivering cargo from one place to another through space.”

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SpaceX Muscle Launch Explores Secrets of Aging

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SpaceX has been ferrying cargo to the International Space Station since 2012, sending various items — from robot parts and a vegetable garden to genetically engineered mice — aboard its rockets. And while they may sound random, each item serves its own purpose in the critical research being performed at the ISS — including this next one.

SpaceX has launched human muscle cells into space in an attempt to explore something that will have applications in space and on earth as well: the effects of aging.

A team of scientists at the University of Liverpool has undertaken a research initiative they’re calling the MicroAge study, the main objective of which is to learn why people’s muscles get weaker with age.

This phenomenon parallels one that’s been occurring with astronauts: in zero gravity muscles tend to grow weaker as well.

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All future Starlink satellites will have laser crosslinks

Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO of SpaceX, expects the next Starlink mission will launch in about three weeks.

by Jason Rainbow — August 26, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS — SpaceX is adding laser terminals on all future Starlink satellites and is the reason behind a break in launches for the broadband megaconstellation, president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said.

Shotwell told the Space Symposium Aug. 24 that its decision to add laser crosslinks, enabling the satellites to communicate with each other to reduce their reliance on ground stations, is “why we have been struggling” to launch a Starlink mission since June 30.

SpaceX had been conducting an aggressive launch campaign with its Falcon 9 rocket throughout the first half 2021 before the hiatus, enlarging the Starlink constellation to more than 1,600 satellites in low Earth orbit.

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX Shoots for the Moon—by 2024 or Sooner

A SpaceX rocket, carrying astronauts, lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 23, 2021.

By Al Root

SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk said his space company can be ready to go to the moon in the next three years.

Musk said in a Saturday Twitter post responding to a question about the timeline that SpaceX’s lunar lander would be ready for its moon mission “probably sooner” than 2024. 

SpaceX won NASA’s lunar lander contract in April, beating Jeff Bezos’s space company Blue Origin and Leidos (ticker: LDOS) unit Dynetics for the job. 

The NASA program, dubbed Artemis, is slated to take astronauts, including women, to the moon in 2024. SpaceX will make a reusable lander it calls Starship that will eventually carry people to Mars if Musk’s ultimate ambitions are realized. 

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SpaceX and a Canadian Startup Will Turn Space Into a Billboard

Space is going to be a billboard. If you like to run your own ad, the collaboration accepts cryptocurrencies only. 

By  Ameya Paleja

Just as paid human spaceflights are about to begin, advertising is making a mark in space too. A Canadian startup called Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC) has tied up with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, taking advertising to space on a small satellite aboard the Falcon 9 rocket, Business Insider reported. However, the collaboration won’t feature a classic advertising billboard that we are used to see around, the ads will run on a pixelated display screen on a satellite called a CubeSat. 

Calgary-based GEC is an intellectual property, manufacturing, and logistics company, all rolled into one. Through its subsidiaries, Geometric Space, GeometricLabs, Geometric Medical, and Geometric Gaming, the company is inventing and manufacturing products and services for its customers in the private as well as the public sectors. As the company claims, during the pandemic, it supplied “ethically sourced” nitrile gloves to institutions in Canada and the U.S. while also developing a solid-state Sodium-Ion battery product. 

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Elon Musk Wants to Turn SpaceX Starship to a Giant Space Telescope; Is It Possible?

Elon Musk, SpaceX Chief Engineer, and the SpaceX team are recognized by Vice President Mike Pence inside the Vehicle Assembly Building following the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

By Aubrey Clarke 

Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, recently stated that the company’s Starship could be converted into a “huge telescope” with 10 times the resolution of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The recent revelation indicates that the billionaire still has lots of ambitious ideas for the company’s spaceship.

SpaceX’s Starship might bring the first astronauts to the Moon’s surface since the Apollo missions, clean up our planet’s increasingly polluted orbit, and possibly assist in the establishment of a metropolis on Mars.

Musk has now stated that he wishes to bring astronomical observations into the twenty-first century.

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ELON MUSK SAYS UPCOMING SPACEX STARSHIP CAN ‘FLY AROUND SPACE AND CHOMP UP DEBRIS’

Elon Musk says SpaceX can fly around space and “chomp up debris” with its upcoming Starship craft.

Starship is central to many of SpaceX’s aims, and continues to be under development. It hopes to eventually use it to carry people to space, the Moon and further, and it has conducted a number of often spectacular tests.

But it comes at the same time as SpaceX and other companies face criticism over their contribution to “space debris”, which can block out the view of the sky and poses a threat as it fills up the sky. Numerous experts have warned that the growing number of satellites and other materials above the Earth could possibly cause a disastrous collision.

Its Starlink space internet satellites, for instance, have faced both criticism and risk from the increasing number of satellites they share the sky with. They have been attacked by astronomers who argue that they are crowding out the view of the sky, and have been forced to change orbit to avoid the risk of collisions.

But Mr Musk has said on Twitter that the company could also help fix that problem, using its Starship to pick up that litter from the sky.

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