A 30 million page library is heading to the moon to help preserve human civilization

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Falcon 9 rocket launches carrying Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Feb. 21, 2019.

The massive archive is aboard Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft.

When Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft launched toward the moon last week, it was carrying a mysterious cargo. Mission planners called it a time capsule but hinted that that wasn’t the whole story. Now the truth is out: The little lunar probe carries a 30-million-page archive of human knowledge etched into a DVD-size metal disc.

The Lunar Library, as the archive is known, constitutes a “civilization backup” to help ensure that our distant descendants never lose humanity’s collective wisdom, according to Nova Spivack, co-founder of Arch Mission Foundation, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit behind the project. The foundation is building a space-based archive designed to survive for 6 billion years or more — a million times longer than the oldest written records in existence today.

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Elon Musk reveals future price plan for a return ticket to Mars

Ready to start a new life on Mars? Elon Musk, the tech entrepreneur vying to send humans to the red planet within the next decade, claimed on Monday that the cost of a ticket will one day enable “most people in advanced economies” to feasibly give up their Earth-bound dwellings and move to Mars.

The SpaceX CEO stated via Twitter that he’s “confident” moving to Mars will one day cost $500,000 for a return ticket, possibly dropping further to below $100,000. These figures, Musk explained, are “very dependent on volume.” It comes as SpaceX is working to complete the Starship, a fully reusable stainless steel vehicle designed to comfortably transport around 100 humans to Mars and even beyond. The Starship uses liquid oxygen and methane to power its Raptor engines, meaning humans can set up a propellant plant on Mars to create more fuel and return to Earth. Musk claimed on Monday that “there’s a path” to building the Starship for less than the Falcon 9 SpaceX currently uses to send satellites into space, estimated to cost $62 million.

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Elon Musk receives FCC approval to launch over 7,500 satellites into space

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The FCC this week unanimously approved SpaceX’s ambitious plan to launch 7,518 satellites into low-Earth orbit. These satellites, along with 4,425 previously approved satellites, will serve as the backbone for the company’s proposed Starlink broadband network. As it does with most of its projects, SpaceX is thinking big with its global broadband network. The company is expected to spend more than $10 billion to build and launch a constellation of satellites that will provide high-speed internet coverage to just about every corner of the planet.

SpaceX plans initially to launch 4,425 Starlink satellites into a low-Earth orbit followed by an additional 7,518 satellite at an even lower orbit. The first group of satellites will operate at an altitude of 1,110km to 1,325km and will form the backbone of the company’s Starlink broadband service. The additional satellites will circle the Earth at altitudes from 335km to 346km and will boost capacity and lower latency, especially in densely populated areas. Because of these low orbits, SpaceX says its planned Starlink broadband network will have latencies as low as 25ms and gigabit speeds that will rival existing cable or fiber optic systems. Not only will it be fast, but the Starlink network also will reach those areas that have poor or no internet connectivity.

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Is Colonizing Mars the most important project in human history?

The Robotic Arm on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander carries a scoop of Martian soil bound for the spacecraft's microscope

The Red Planet is a freezing, faraway, uninhabitable desert. But protecting the human species from the end of life on Earth could save trillions of lives.

The Earth and Mars are a bit like fraternal twins that slowly grew apart. Four billion years ago, both planets were warm, sheathed by protective atmospheres, and carved with rivers and pools of liquid water. But today, Mars is an irradiated desert enveloped by a thick miasma of carbon dioxide, while its twin is a sensationally fertile orb and, for all we know, the universe’s cosmic jackpot of life.

These divergent stories make scientists immensely curious: Can we discover evidence of a fecund past in the Martian ground? We’re closer than ever to finding out. Ellen Stofan, the former chief scientist of nasa and current head of the National Air and Space Museum, has predicted that we will find evidence of past life on Mars in as little as a decade.

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We need Elon Musk much more than he needs us

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Heroes are not created equal. Most people recognize the name Sully Sullenberger, but far fewer can tell you what Alan Turing did during World War II.

Fewer still could tell you that Turing was chemically castrated because he was gay, and committed suicide shortly thereafter. But thanks for bringing one of the most horrifying wars in history to an abrupt end, I guess?

Society isn’t always kind to its heroes. We ask for an ill-defined yet idealized sort of perfection, and when our heroes fall short, we make sure they fall twice as hard.

Some might write this phenomenon off as a minor inconvenience for the rich, successful or famous, but times have changed. The human costs of war pale in comparison to the battles humanity will face in the years to come.

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This crazy ambitious timeline shows when and how Elon Musk and Space X plan to colonize Mars

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Elon Musk is hell-bent on colonizing Mars.

That’s the spirit with which he founded SpaceX, his rocket company, in 2002. Musk was frustrated that NASA wasn’t doing more to get people to the red planet – and concerned a backup plan for humanity wasn’t being developed (for when Earth becomes an uninhabitable wasteland).

Since then, SpaceX has developed several impressive aerospace systems: Falcon 1, SpaceX’s first orbital rocket; Grasshopper, a small self-landing test rocket; Falcon 9, a reusable orbital-class launcher; Dragona, a spaceship for cargo and soon NASA astronauts; and Falcon Heavy, a super-heavy-lift launcher.

But Mars is a cold, unforgiving, and almost airless rock located some 140 million miles (225 million kilometres) from the Sun.

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Elon Musk is building a spaceship that’s so ambitious that some experts are calling it ‘science fiction.’ Here’s what SpaceX and its engineers are up against.

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Elon Musk plans to blast a tourist around the moon in a ship made by his rocket company, SpaceX.

The private lunar mission is meant to demonstrate a new two-part launch system called Big Falcon Rocket, which is designed to eventually bring humans to Mars.

Engineers are said to be building a prototype of the BFR’s spaceship primarily out of carbon-fiber composites.

Exactly how SpaceX is building that spaceship isn’t publicly known, but industry experts have some guesses.

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SpaceX: “Mr Steven” giant net tested at high speeds in stunning video

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SpaceX’s component-catching ship has got an upgrade. Mr Steven, the vessel designed to catch the fairing from the Falcon 9 as it returns to Earth after launch, has been demonstrating its larger net around the port of Los Angeles. New images on Tuesday and a video earlier this week show the ship conducting sea trials at speeds of up to 20 knots, or 20 mph.

Images captured by Teslarati and video captured by YouTuber “Drone Dronester” show the ship conducting tests between July 12 and 15, with the crew and recovery technicians sending the ship out after a multi-week installation of the new net. The ship is what’s known as a “fast supply vessel,” meaning it’s ranked to move 400 metric tons of cargo at regular speeds of 23 knots, or 27 mph. The ship itself weighs almost 200,000 pounds and is around 200 feet long. The crew focused on sharp corners at high speed less than half an hour after setting sail, testing the stability with a net that’s four times bigger than its predecessor with an area of 0.9 acres.

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SpaceX is flying an artificially intelligent robot named CIMON to the International Space Station

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Unlike HAL, it won’t be able to open the pod bay doors.

Its programming is limited, capable of conversation and technical support but not much else, at least for now. And instead of the searing red eye of the super computer gone rogue in Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi film, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the artificially intelligent robot launched into space Friday has a screen displaying a genial face prone to smiles.

CIMON, as it is known (an acronym for Crew Interactive Mobile Companion), is designed to help astronauts on board the International Space Station perform their work — namely the science experiments they are sent aboard the orbiting laboratory.

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Space X: Elon Musk shares staggering video that shows true size of rockets

Elon Musk has shared a video that helps visualize the sheer scale of SpaceX’s rockets, and the results are awe-inspiring. The CEO retweeted a video on Wednesday from YouTube channel Corridor Crew, which uses visual effects to show the size of the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and BFR rockets in real-life situations.

The video, which uses 3D models produced by Reese Wilson, shows the sheer scale of the company’s rockets that it’s using to fulfil its space exploration ambitions. While the Falcon 9 has been sending satellites into space and the Falcon Heavy completed a test flight with the Tesla Roadster, it’s the upcoming BFR that will transport humans to Mars as soon as 2024. Musk described the video as “cool,” while astronomy writer Phil Plait wrote that it was “amazing. The SF/X are really really good. I’ve been to the SpaceX factory twice, and have seen the landing leg on the main floor and the booster outside. They’re WAY bigger than you’d think.”

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Majority of Americans believe it is essential that the U.S. remain a global leader in space

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Despite the increasing role of private companies in space exploration, most believe NASA’s role is still vital for future.

Sixty years after the founding of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), most Americans believe the United States should be at the forefront of global leadership in space exploration. Majorities say the International Space Station has been a good investment for the country and that, on balance, NASA is still vital to the future of U.S. space exploration even as private space companies emerge as increasingly important players.

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FCC approves SpaceX plan for 4,425-satellite broadband network

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SpaceX has a green light from the FCC to launch a network of thousands of satellites blanketing the globe with broadband. And you won’t have too long to wait — on a cosmic scale, anyway. Part of the agreement is that SpaceX launch half of its proposed satellites within six years.

The approval of SpaceX’s application was not seriously in doubt after last month’s memo from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was excited at the prospect of the first U.S.-based company being authorized to launch a constellation like this.

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