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The Gov't will Go to the Moon and Mars, Rite after this commercial break...
Well that was just excellent.
That simultaneous landing was spectacular.
It really is great to see such a happy group there at Space X, 
with such high morale.
Everybody that watches that video is invigorated with the great vibes at that landing party.
Yeah...and they were chanting..."Trump! Trump! Trump!"

Space-X has to find another launching pad that can have the LZ on land,
not a rocking ship to confuse sensors.
KR the flight architecture does not allow for that.

The central Core booster is not just a plain'ol Falcon-9 (heavier and unique)and expends more fuel as itz trajectory is  Arrow  further down launch parabola.

It must land on a ship or in the dip-toes it goes... down to the ocean floor.

The Other two boosters cut short the flight and return with plenty in reserve to make the landing zone.

[Image: 501ffff20137ba851c6e0fb909a48775]

(I can't even believe I'm typing 'landing-zone' Holycowsmile Holycowsmile because this is still a revolutionary capability)
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Live view of Red Car & Starman on its way to Mars:

I wonder if lighting would be same when the car and his satellite reach Mars?

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
It seems like they cut brightness so the dashboard screen wasn't washed out.

EA...if they launched from California
the site farther downrange could be in a desert.
The center core rockets had 2-3 rockets that did not ignite, so the core, while recoverable for the avionics will be undertaken, they will be testing the core itself in Texas in the coming months to iron out the issues with that part of BFR:

But he is also by the end of 2018 will send the Dragon around the Moon and back. Applause Applause Applause

2 hr video

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
The Falcon Heavy is an absurdly low-cost heavy lift rocket

The new SpaceX rocket seriously undercuts its competitors.
good post, thanks!

and within the article,
exposing Whip
another NASA Underworld money mafiosa budget plundering boondoggle:

Quote:NASA is also building a heavy-lift rocket, 
the Space Launch System Nonono
which has been under development since 2011. 

However, these {delay} improvements come at a very, very steep price. 
Consider just a single data point: 
NASA annually spends about $2.6 billion Scream
to develop the SLS rocket, 
and ground launch systems for the massive rocket at Kennedy Space Center. 

The SLS rocket was originally supposed to launch in 2017, 
but now the maiden flight of the SLS booster has slipped to 2020. 

---> the cost of a three-year delay is $7.8 billion Jawdrop

costs of this $7.8 billion three-year delay, 
against the lift capability
NASA could have bought, 
by purchasing Falcon Heavy rockets from SpaceX in 2018, 2019, and 2020,
equates Hi  to 86 launches Applause
of :
the reusable Falcon Heavy

"The question is really,
 why would the government 
continue to spend billions of dollars a year of taxpayer money 
for a rocket that will be unnecessary and obsolete?" 
Lori Garver, 
a deputy administrator of NASA from 2009 to 2013, told Ars. 

"If the US continues this travesty, 
it will siphon off even more funds NASA could otherwise use for science missions, 
transfer vehicles, 
or landers that actually get us somewhere."

Note how Ms. Garver in her comment there,
points to ... government ... and illuminates NASA as the innocent victim.

Nonono I don't think so.

NASA Underworld ... is the entrenched - Government - DoD - NASA money munching machine.
They consume public funding like carnivore candy.

now review:

Quote:The SLS rocket Tp
was originally supposed to launch in 2017, 
but now the maiden flight of the SLS booster has slipped to 2020. 

---> the cost of a three-year delay is $7.8 billion

costs of this $7.8 billion three-year delay
against the lift capability NASA could have bought, 
by purchasing
Falcon Heavy rockets from SpaceX in 2018, 2019, and 2020,
equates Hi  to 86 launches Applause
the reusable Falcon Heavy

86 launches

Like I said Earlier elsewhere DUMP NASA/JPL Horsepoop and give ALL funding to Elon Musk. Period. END OF STORY !!!

Bob... Ninja Alien2
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
(02-18-2018, 01:47 AM)rhw007 Wrote: Like I said Earlier elsewhere DUMP NASA/JPL Horsepoop and give ALL funding to Elon Musk. Period. END OF STORY !!!

Bob... Ninja Alien2

??? Arrow

Trump: NASA Bringing Back ‘Space Flight’ Program And Going To Mars ‘In The Very Near Future’

Christian Datoc
Breaking News and Engagement Editor
12:13 PM 03/08/2018
President Donald Trump announced during a Thursday cabinet meeting that NASA is “bringing back that whole space flight” program and would be sending “something very beautiful to Mars in the very near future.”
Before pivoting to Mars, POTUS praised the recent work of Elon Musk and SpaceX on the Falcon rocket program.


“You haven’t seen that from this country in a long time,” Trump stated. “Many the jobs we’re doing, Mike Pence is the chairman, many of the jobs are privately financed. We’re letting them use the Kennedy Space Center for a fee. Rich guys, they love rocket ship. That’s good. That’s better than us paying for it. I notice the price of the last one, they said it cost $80 million. If the government would’ve done it, it would’ve cost 40-50 times that, literally.”

[Image: trump_mars_nasa.jpg]WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 07: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during the Lation Coalition’s Legislative Summit at the J.W. Marriott March 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. This was Trump’s first time to address the organization of conservative Latino business owners, which is under the leadership of former George W. Bush administration Small Business Administraiton head Hector Barreto. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“At the same time, NASA is very much involved in doing their own projects,” he continued. “We’re bringing that whole space flight back. We’ll be sending something very beautiful to Mars in the very near future. We’re going to areas nobody thought possible, and we’re doing it very quickly, so we’re very proud.”
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
#2020CydoniaRover     Luv

S   P   R   E   A    D            I    T           E      V     E     R     Y     W     H     E     R     E  

Bob... Ninja Assimilated

PS: Has ALL members contacted Pres Trump and VP Pence  about #2020CydoniaRover  ???
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
Elon Musk, speaking at SXSW, projects Mars spaceship will be ready for short trips by first half of 2019
  • Elon Musk held a surprise question and answer session at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas on Sunday.
  • The billionaire said SpaceX is on track to send his Mars-intended rocket on short trips by 2019, but joked about potentially missing the timeline.
Michelle Castillo | @mishcastillo
Published 20 Hours Ago Updated 1 Hour Ago

[Image: 104869883-GettyImages-610709200.530x298....1512015190]Susana Gonzalez | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Sept. 27, 2016.
Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk told an audience at South by Southwest that his timeline for sending a space vehicle to Mars could mark its first milestone early next year.
The privately-funded venture, announced in September 2017, aims to send a cargo mission to the Red Planet by 2022. SpaceX's ultimate objective is to plant the seeds to put a human colony on Mars.
Musk held a surprise question and answer session at the annual technology and culture festival in Austin, Texas on Sunday. The billionaire told attendees that "we are building the first Mars, or interplanetary ship, and I think we'll be able to do short trips, flights by first half of next year."
Mindful of elevating expectations too high, Musk hedged a bit. "Although sometimes, my timelines are a little, you know..." he said to laughter.
[Image: 104740857-GettyImages-855377428-elon-mus...1506694373]Peter Parks | AFP | Getty Images
Entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk speaks below a computer generated illustration of his new rocket at the 68th International Astronautical Congress 2017 in Adelaide on September 29, 2017. Musk said his company SpaceX has begun serious work on the BFR Rocket as he plans an Interplanetary Transport System.
SpaceX's BFR rocket system is expected to have capabilities for interplanetary travel, and be fully reusable. A flight will cost less than the initial Falcon 1 flights, which Musk pegged in the $5 to $6 million range.
He hopes if BFR launches, others will believe Mars travel is possible, and follow suit.
"The biggest thing that would be helpful is just general support and encouragement and goodwill," Musk said. "I think once we build it we'll have a point of proof something that other companies and countries can go and do. They certainly don't think it's possible, but if we do they'll up their game."

[Image: 105053550-makeit_02272018_SpaceXsuccess_...1520542923] [/url]
Elon Musk remembers the SpaceX of 10 years ago: ‘We couldn’t even reach orbit with little Falcon 1’   4:18 PM ET Thu, 8 March 2018 | 01:03

In the immediate term, Mars will need Glass domes, a power station, and an assortment of basic living fundamentals, he cautioned. After the infrastructure is complete, "then really the explosion of entrepreneurial opportunity [will begin], because Mars will need everything from iron foundries to pizza joints," he said.
In a wide-ranging series of remarks, Musk regaled the audience with anecdotes about several of his other ventures, including Tesla and the Boring Company, with the billionaire joking he tweets about the latter more than he actually spends time working on it.
He also raised eyebrows when asked the source of his inspiration, citing iconic entertainer Fred Astaire and irascible hip-hop artist Kanye West.
Quote:NASA tweet
--CNBC's Kelsey Kats contributed to this article.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Musk: Atmospheric tests of interplanetary spaceship could happen next year
March 13, 2018 Stephen Clark
[/url] [url=]
[Image: bfr_satellite.jpg]Artist’s concept of the BFR spaceship deploying a satellite in orbit. Credit: SpaceX
A team of SpaceX engineers is building a prototype of the spaceship Elon Musk hopes will one day carry people and cargo deep into the solar system, and it could begin low-altitude testing next year, kicking off a multi-step test campaign before eventually going into space, then perhaps the moon or Mars.
Musk said Sunday that the first version of SpaceX’s BFR spaceship could be ready to fly on “short up-and-down” tests next year, similar to the vertical takeoff and landing demonstrations conducted at the company’s Central Texas development base with testbeds before officials attempted landing full-up Falcon 9 rocket boosters.
“We are building the first ship, the first Mars or interplanetary ship, right now, and I think we’ll probably be able to do short flights, short sort of up-and-down flights probably in the first half of next year,” Musk said Sunday during an appearance at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
Musk’s discussion of the BFR ship Sunday echoed comments he made last month shortly after the first successful test flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket — the world’s most powerful launcher — which would be eclipsed in thrust and lift capacity by the BFR.
In a briefing with reporters Feb. 6, Musk said the BFR spaceship — just one component of SpaceX’s grandiose concept for sending large numbers of people to Mars — could begin short “hop” tests in 2019 “if we get lucky.”
The billionaire entrepreneur revealed the design of the BFR — an acronym SpaceX says stands for “Big Falcon Rocket” — in a presentation at the International Astronautical Congress last year in Adelaide, Australia.
The BFR design consists of a booster stage, powered by 31 methane-fueled Raptor engines producing nearly 12 million pounds of thrust, and an upper stage that doubles as an interplanetary transporter capable of carrying people, supplies, satellites, and huge propellant tanks that can be refilled in space.
[Image: sx_rocketfamily.jpg]A comparison of the size and performance of SpaceX’s rockets: Falcon 1, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and BFR (left to right). Credit: SpaceX
The two pieces of the BFR would together stand around 348 feet (106 meters) tall and measure nearly 30 feet (9 meters) in diameter, just shy of the dimensions of the Saturn 5 rocket that sent astronauts to the moon. Musk said the BFR will be able to deliver a payload of up to 330,000 pounds — 150 metric tons — to a low orbit just above Earth’s atmosphere, a figure that exceeds the maximum lift capacity of the Saturn 5, while accounting for a fuel reserve and performance penalty for landing and reuse.
“This is a very big booster and ship,” Musk said Sunday. “The liftoff thrust of this would be about twice that of a Saturn 5.”
The BFR is smaller than an earlier interplanetary launcher and transporter concept unveiled by Musk in 2016.
“The ship part is, by far, the hardest because that’s going to come in from super-orbital velocities, like interplanetary Mars transfer velocities, moon transfer velocities. These are way harder than coming from Earth orbit.”
The spaceship’s high-speed returns will stress the craft’s heat shield and structure beyond the temperatures and pressures experienced by a capsule re-entering the atmosphere from Earth orbit, or by a descending rocket stage.
“Testing that ship out is the real tricky part,” Musk said Feb. 6. “The booster, I think — I don’t want to get too complacent — but I think we understand reusable boosters. Reusable spaceships that can land propulsively, that’s harder. We’re starting with the hard part first.”
SpaceX officials have not said how closely the design of the first test spaceship — sometimes called the Big Falcon Spaceship, or BFS — will match the final layout Musk presented in September in Adelaide.
The spaceship design Musk revealed in September had a cluster of six Raptor engines — he later said the ship could have seven engines — and methane and liquid oxygen tanks containing almost a quarter-million pounds (1,100 metric tons) of cryogenic propellants for deep space burns and landing maneuvers. The spacecraft would stretch 157 feet (48 meters) long and have an internal pressurized volume exceeding that of an Airbus A380 jumbo jet, enough room for 40 passenger cabins.
The Raptor engines can be throttled from 20 percent to 100 percent power, allowing on-board engine controllers to adjust their thrust as needed during powered descents through the atmospheres of Earth or Mars.
SpaceX is already hotfire testing the Raptor engine, which is expected to generate around 380,000 pounds of thrust at full throttle.
Musk said last month that SpaceX will likely conduct the first phase of spaceship testing at its South Texas launch site near Brownsville. Another option could be “ship-to-ship” flights at sea, he said.
“Most likely, it’s going to happen at our Brownsville location because we’ve got a lot of land with nobody around, so if it blows up, it’s cool,” he said. “By hop test, I mean it’ll go up several miles and come down. The ship is capable of single stage to orbit if you fully loaded the tanks, so we’ll do flights of increasing complexity. We really want to test the heat shield material, (and do) something like fly out, turn around, accelerate back real hard, and come in hot to test the heat shield.”
Musk said last month he believes it is “conceivable” that the first launch of the BFR booster into Earth orbit could happen in three or four years. Missions into deep space would follow. Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, said Monday at the Satellite 2018 conference in Washington that orbital test flights of the company’s new vehicle could happen in 2020.
He said in September that initial BFR flights to Mars could happen by 2022, with human voyages possible by 2024. Those target dates were “aspirational,” he said at the time.
Known for his bullish schedule pronouncements, Musk said Sunday: “I’m feeling pretty optimistic about the timeline, although I can be … People have told me that my timelines historically have been optimistic, so I’m trying to recalibrate to some degree.”
For example, Musk said in 2011 that the Falcon Heavy rocket — SpaceX’s biggest rocket to date — would make its first test launch in 2013. The heavy-duty rocket took off for the first time last month.
SpaceX’s longtime ambition, set and steadied by Musk, has been to ferry humans to Mars to build a base, and eventually an interplanetary society. With the Trump administration’s decision to redirect NASA’s focus on returning astronauts to the moon’s surface before going to Mars, Musk has highlighted the BFR’s lunar capabilities in recent talks.
The huge interplanetary ship could carry equipment and astronauts to a lunar base, Musk said, without needing to be refueled after it leaves Earth orbit. A mission to the surface of Mars and back to Earth will require a propellant depot on the red planet to generate fuel and oxidizer the ship’s return trip.
In addition to interplanetary flights, the BFR could haul huge satellites into orbit, such as wide-aperture space telescopes, or deploy numerous spacecraft in one mission.
Musk said Sunday that the BFR, at least in the long-term, could cost less per flight than the Falcon 1 rocket, SpaceX’s first orbital booster.
“What’s amazing about this ship, assuming that we can make full and rapid reusability work, is that we can reduce the marginal cost per flight dramatically,” Musk said.
“A BFR flight will actually cost less than our Falcon 1 flights did back in the day,” he said. “That was about a $5 million or $6 million marginal cost per flight, and we’re confident that BFR will be less than that.”
But such low costs will depend on further advancements in rocket reuse. The shortest turnaround between flights of the same Falcon 9 booster has been five months, and SpaceX is still recouping its costly investment in rocket recovery and reusability.
A new version of the Falcon 9 could propel another leap forward in SpaceX’s reuse innovations.
SpaceX is preparing an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket configuration called “Block 5” for a debut launch as soon as next month. Some of the changes should allow engineers to more quickly prepare the booster for another flight, and the Falcon 9’s Block 5 first stages are expected to be rated for more than two missions.
Musk said SpaceX will pour more resources into the BFR after the Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket begins flying, and once the company’s Crew Dragon capsule starts ferrying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.
“This question of reusability is so fundamental to rocketry,” Musk said Sunday. “It is the fundamental breakthrough that’s needed.”
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Vladimir Putin vs Elon Musk: Russia and SpaceX face-off as BOTH pledge Mars by 2019

VLADIMIR Putin is squaring up to Elon Musk as both Russia and privateer pioneers SpaceX pledged to launch a mission to Mars in 2019.

By Henry Holloway / Published 15th March 2018

[Image: Russia-Vladimir-Putin-Mars-Mission-2019-...689031.jpg]
PUTIN VS MUSK: Vlad and Elon both plan to send missions to Mars in 2019

Russia’s hardman leader revealed the plan during an interview today as he bids for re-election on Sunday.

He spoke of expanding Moscow’s space programme with flights to the moon, into deep space and launching a probe to the Red Planet.

Russia has not attempted any Mars missions since the failed launch of the Phobos-Grunt probe in 2011.

Putin’s announcement came just days after billionaire Musk revealed he also plans to get a SpaceX probe to Mars by 2019.
This is latest move in what looks to be a beginnings of a new space race around the world.

Much more + slideshows and videos at:

Source Link:

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
RHW007,I see you saw that major announcement! LilD 


Vladimir Putin announces mission to MARS next year followed by manned trips in bid to colonise the Red Planet
President Putin vowed to also make 'deep explorations into space' in which astronauts would tour polar regions of the moon
By Brittany Vonow
15th March 2018, 8:54 am
Updated: 15th March 2018, 11:50 am

RUSSIA will launch a mission to Mars as early as next year, Vladimir Putin has announced.
The ambitious unmanned craft will be just the first, with other manned missions to follow soon after in a bid to colonise the Red Planet.
[Image: nintchdbpict000383563642.jpg?strip=all&w=960]
Getty - Contributor

Russia is planning on a visit to Mars as early as next year
Speaking in a new documentary by Andrey Kondrashov, President Putin said: "We are planning unmanned – and later manned launches – into deep space as part of a lunar program and for Mars exploration.
"The closest mission is very soon, we are planning to launch a mission to Mars in 2019."
RT reported that Russian scientists would be aiming to land near the polar regions of the planet, in the hope of finding water.
Russia has previously boasted it would be able to reach Mars in just six weeks, with the space race between the US, Russia and China continuing to heat up.

Putin said: "Our specialists will try landing near the poles because there are reasons to expect water there.
"There is research to be done there, and from that, research of other planets and outer space can be undertaken."
It comes after Nasa unveiled a new £1.5billion Mars probe in the hope of finding life on the Red Planet.
The Mars 2020 Rover will blast off in a £1.5billion mission scientists hope will settle once and for all if are aliens on the Red Planet — or if they used to exist there.
It is equipped with a total of 23 cameras that will be able to zoom in on clues the size of a grain of salt.

Nasa's Curiosity rover takes selfie from MARS and reveals incredible Martian panorama

China Should shoot for Mars too.

Letz do this!
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
First-ever luxury space hotel to be launched into orbit in 2021

Published time: 8 Apr, 2018 13:00 Edited time: 8 Apr, 2018 16:58

[Image: 5ac75c3bfc7e930d548b45d7.jpg]
© Orion Span, Inc. / Facebook 

Tourists will soon have a new travel destination as startup Orion Span plans to open a luxury hotel in orbit 200 miles above the Earth in late 2021.

The single-module commercial space station will start accommodating guests in 2022. It will include “private suites for two, the most number of windows ever created for spaceflight, weightlessness, and the world's only authentic astronaut experience.”

A 12-day stay aboard ‘Aurora Station’ will start at $9.5 million. Refundable deposits of $80,000 are already being accepted on the website of the company.

Guests will go through three months of pre-flight training, including an online certification program and in-person training at a facility in Houston.

“Believe you were meant for a less than ordinary life? Join us aboard Aurora Station for a 12-day adventure that will change your life.

Experience the thrill of zero gravity, watch the aurora borealis, grow food in space, or dive into our holodeck, for the world's only authentic astronaut experience,” Orion Span’s website says.

“There's been innovation around the architecture to make it more modular and simpler to use and have more automation, so we don't have to have EVAs [extravehicular activities] or spacewalks,” Orion Span’s CEO, Frank Bunger, told

“The goal when we started the company was to create that innovation to make simplicity possible, and by making simplicity possible, we drive a tremendous amount of cost out of it,” he said.

Quote:Forbes: A New Luxury Hotel is Opening... In Space
— Orion Span (@OrionSpan) April 6, 2018

Orion Span is building Aurora Station itself, Bunger explained. The company – some of whose key engineering players have helped design and operate the ISS (International Space Station) – is manufacturing the hotel in Houston and developing the software required to run it in the Bay Area.

Aurora Station will be about the size of a large private jet's cabin. It will measure 43.5ft long by 14.1ft wide (13.3 by 4.3 meters), and feature a pressurized volume of 5,650 cubic ft (160 cubic meters), Orion Span representatives said. 

It will accommodate four paying guests and two crewmembers. The personnel will likely be former astronauts, according to Bunger.

Quote:This new space hotel could open in 4 years—and a reservation will cost you millions
— Condé Nast Traveler (@CNTraveler) April 5, 2018

The space hotel may be expanded over time if everything goes according to plan. As demand grows, Orion Span will launch additional modules to link up with the original core outpost, said Bunger.

“Our long-term vision is to sell actual space in those new modules,” he said. “We're calling that a space condo. So, either for living or subleasing, that's the future vision here – to create a long-term, sustainable human habitation in LEO [low Earth orbit].”


Let's Get GOING Spacecraft

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
Werner Von Braun
[Image: 4323_1008204454.jpg]


"What sort of skin temperatures do you get nowadays?" asked Holt.
"Oh, she'll take up to 1,100 degrees and more," answered Knight, "but the highest we're apt to get is around 730 °C when we're at 5,000 meters per second at 60 kilometers altitude."
"Not much, is it?" asked Holt. "With the old Jupiters, we used to heat up to almost 900 degrees."
"These new vessels have a much lighter wing-loading. That lets us do our gliding considerably higher, and there's less heat transfer because the air's less dense. On some of our troop transfer trips, the boys got very jittery when they looked out the ports and saw the wings a bright, incandescent red."
Despite Knight's reassurances, it was getting uncomfortably warm in the cockpit.
"I'll turn up the refrigeration a bit, so the boys back there won't get to cooking too much and be all nervous," he said.
He twisted the adjustment screw of the temperature regulator and the whine of the cooling turbine rose in pitch against the hissing and roaring of the onrushing air.
Above their heads, the star-strewn sky seemed motionless and below them was naught but pitch darkness. Their wings and nose had begun to glow with the color of old port wine, which penetrated the portholes with a ghostly glimmer and reflected from their faces. Their enormous velocity was betrayed only by the instruments and the incessant roaring as they split the air.
"There's the lighthouse on the Cape of Good Hope!" exclaimed Knight, "We'll be subsonic in another hour or so."+/- 0.02818270165seconds
There was still very little sensible evidence of the slowing down of the Sirius. Not long before, they had been lifted into their shoulder belts by the centrifugal acceleration of the wings forcing the ship into a circular path, but this had slacked off and was no longer noticeable. It meant that the excess speed with which Sirius'' had entered the atmosphere had sunk to approximately that of the local orbital speed. But the longitudinal deceleration still read less than O.lg. Twenty minutes after they had passed the Cape of Good Hope, their speed was still above 7,000 meters per second and their altitude well over 70 kilometers.
All this time, the leading edge temperature gauge read but little under 700 °C and the entire nose of the ship was heated by the air friction to a luminous cherry red. Holt's view of the wings revealed that their dark red incandescence progressively diminished towards the trailing edges. It was striking evidence that the boundary layer was growing thicker in chord and reducing the amount of heat transferred by the onrushing air.
It seemed a long time before they became aware of a sickle-shaped glimmering ahead of them. It grew rapidly on both sides of their nose, revealing that they were flying into the dawn. Above the horizon soon glared the livid mantle of the solar corona, to be followed rapidly by the orb of day itself, painfully contracting the pupils of their nightaccustomed eyes.
Soon the advancing line of dawn on Earth had passed below them and Holt noticed that they were flying above an illimitable forest crossed by a silvery, serpentine line which could only be a river.
"That's the Ob," remarked Knight with a glance at the clock. "If our directional gear has been working properly, Novosibirsk ought to be out there to your right, then Tomsk, and the Yenissei River after a minute or so."
Sure enough, another mighty river, disguised from their height as a tiny, silvery thread, passed below them. Occasional patches of snow appeared in the forested Siberian wilderness, growing thicker as they advanced, until near Verhojansk, the "coldest city," the whole lonesome waste lay rigid under its icy frost. Here they had reached the limits of the Arctic, the Northernmost point of their great circle path.
Now headed towards the southeast, Sirius skimmed across the frozen Kolima River. Now, at last, the airspeed meter dropped to 6,000 meters per second, but the altitude was still above 65 kilometers. The wing temperature was on the upgrade and read slightly above 700 °C.
But Sirius was now over the ocean once more. Holt saw Kamchatka's huge peninsula through a hole in a fog bank, thrusting out like a great barrier between Siberia and the Bearing Sea.
They could distinctly feel the increased deceleration imposed by the air upon the racing ship; they were drawn forward against their belts, as though seated in a car whose brakes are applied. When they passed the western outposts of the Aleutians the speed had dropped to 5,000 meters per second, and five minutes later it was only 4,000. The wing temperature, which had been stuck for a long time at around 730 °C, had sunk to 670° and was now rapidly diminishing. From below the pilot's seats, the radioman's hand appeared with a slip of paper.
"Here's the first bearing from Kahului," said Knight, twisting the knob of the course gyro and resetting the ship onto the corrected course. Sirius was cutting deeper and deeper into the atmosphere, whizzing diagonally downward. Knight checked speed and altitude with the figures on a tablet attached to the steering column. These showed him at what altitudes various speeds should be passed as Sirius rapidly lost velocity. When they hit the 1,000 meter per second mark at 33.3 kilometers height, according to plan, LilD  the wing temperature was only 237 °C and Knight gave the order to tighten seat belts.

Five minutes elapsed without incident, then the deceleration suddenly increased noticeably for a few seconds. Knight's face grew tense as he manipulated the controls firmly. His eyes were glued to the Mach meter.
"Transonic speed," he said.

Mach speed = (Speed of Sound) 333.33333333333333333333333 MPS

+/- 0.02818270165seconds

Sirius was still 24 kilometers high, but her deceleration again diminished. Gravity had been growing on them imperceptibly all along and was now wholly normal. It held them to their seats as Earth-dwellers have been held through the centuries. Soon the ship had also almost ceased to decelerate. At Knight's command the mechanic lowered the leading edge flaps a few degrees in order to adapt the supersonic airfoils to subsonic flight.
The wings were now at almost the same temperature as the air. The radio operator handed up course corrections in increasingly rapid succession and soon they could see the cloud caps above the Hawaiian Islands far below on their starboard bow. @ 19.5 N
Knight banked Sirius into a wide spiral glide which ended in a broad sweep across the airport. At his command the mechanic lowered the landing gear and flaps and he finally set the ship on the runway with no more fuss than some casual airliner coming in from Wake Island.
A tractor hooked onto them at the end of the runway and hauled them solemnly to the terminal building of Kahului Spaceport. It was almost 12 hours on the dot since they had been projected upwards towards Lunetta by the huge booster stages.
Catherine was waiting. She had spent the night with some old friends in Kahului, and as she and Gary got into a taxi, Knight gave them a friendly wave of the hand.
"Drop in on us, next time you're near Emerald Bay," shouted Holt.
Chapter 6 — Is it Technically Possible to Reach Mars?
When President Vandenbosch's recommendation that an expedition to Mars be set afoot reached the newspapers and radio commentators, the Red Planet came alive in the minds and consciousness of people the world over. Speculation was rife as to the nature and makeup of the space vessels that would compose the fleet. Technicians and laymen flooded the press with both fanciful and serious comments and suggestions.

Rocketry became overnight a word as familiar as television had been forty years before and was far more controversial. - The names of Braden, Spencer and Holt ran from mouth to mouth like wildfire.

The names of Musk, Bezos and Branson ran from mouth to mouth like wildfire.

~ 23 ~
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
RE: The Gov't will Go to the Moon and Mars,   Arrow

Pence rallies Johnson Space Center workers with promise of moon missions
August 23, 2018 William Harwood

[Image: 43507767694_1d01d164ec_k.jpg]Vice President Mike Pence speaks to workers Thursday at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

In what came across as a combination pep rally and old-time revival, Vice President Mike Pence asked flight controllers, engineers and astronauts at the Johnson Space Center Thursday to “rededicate” themselves to carrying out the Trump administration’s drive to establish a permanent U.S. presence around the moon in the early 2020s before eventual voyages to Mars.
“You here at the Johnson Space Center will guide these journeys,” Pence told a packed auditorium at the sprawling Houston facility. “While our sights are once again set on our lunar neighbor, this time we’re not content with just leaving behind footprints. The time has come for the United States of America to … establish a permanent presence around and on the moon.”
As chairman of the newly reconstituted National Space Council, Pence has been leading a new multi-agency drive to coordinate civil, commercial and military space programs under a unified national space policy. President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1 last December, calling for NASA to refocus its human space program on returning to the moon.
The agency is developing a new heavy-lift rocket, the Saturn 5-class Space Launch System, to carry Orion capsules to the moon and beyond and soliciting designs from aerospace contractors for a small space station, or “gateway,” that will be built in lunar orbit. It is intended to serve as a base for research and a stepping stone for eventual landings and fights into deep space.
At the Johnson Space Center, Pence recalled a scene from the movie “Interstellar” in which a character mused “we used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars. Now, we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”
“That’s not how Americans think,” Pence said. “Truthfully, that kind of thinking led people in the past to even cancel the Constellation program. That would have put Americans back on the moon by 2020 and set the stage for exploration of Mars and beyond. That decision was a mistake.”
The Constellation program was promoted by the Bush administration in the wake of the 2003 Columbia shuttle disaster. It called for completing the International Space Station by the end of the decade and building new rockets and spacecraft to carry astronauts back to the moon by the early 2020s for long-duration stays on the surface.
But the Obama administration canceled Constellation after a review determined it was unsustainable at then-current budget levels. Instead, NASA was ordered to focus on missions to nearby asteroids while helping develop a commercial infrastructure in low-Earth orbit.
The decision to cancel Constellation, Pence went on, “said to our country and to the entire world that America was no longer serious about human space exploration.”
“But those days are over. America will lead mankind to the stars once again. Our administration has restored the moon as the focal point of our national space activities because we recognize its pivotal importance. … It’s not a question of if, it’s just a question of when.”
The vice president also praised NASA’s work with the International Space Station, calling it an “unqualified success.” But he reiterated the Trump administration’s decision to terminate government funding in 2025 to free up money and to encourage more commercial activity in low-Earth orbit.
He praised the ongoing development of commercial spacecraft being built by Boeing and SpaceX to ferry American astronauts to and from the space station starting next year, ending NASA’s sole reliance on Russia for ferry flights to the lab complex.
“Sadly, for more than seven years we’ve been forced to hitch a ride to space,” Pence said. “Many Americans don’t know we’ve actually been forced to pay Russia to carry American astronauts to the International Space Station. Today, that cost runs about $82 million a seat. Those days are about to be over.
“I’m going to make you a promise,” he added. “Soon, and very soon, American astronauts will return to space on American rockets launched from American soil! And when they go, they’ll be guided by the dedicated team here at the Johnson Space Center.”
Pence told the civilian space workers the Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to establish a new branch of the military, the United States Space Force, by 2020. It will be “devoted solely to advancing American security in space.”
“The need is real,” he said. “China is aggressively weaponizing space. Russia, too, is developing and testing new and dangerous weapons and technologies to counter America’s space capabilities. Our administration is committed to keep America ahead of our adversaries in this critical domain.”
Finally, Pence recalled the flight of Apollo 8 and the crew’s reading from Genesis as they orbited the moon 50 years ago this Christmas Eve. He asked the NASA workers to “rededicate” themselves to the dream of human spaceflight, saying “however deep into the cosmos we may reach, our destiny, mankind’s destiny, is not only here on Earth, it is in the heavens as well.”
With a now-familiar church-like delivery, Pence called on the NASA workers to “go forth and meet that destiny together and do what Americans have always done, let’s seize it with ingenuity and courage, let’s seize it with faith. You can be confident the American people have faith in you.”

Rite after this commercial break... Arrow 

NASA Astronauts Flying Aboard Crew Dragon

August 04, 2018

On Friday, August 3, 2018, NASA announced the first four astronauts who will launch aboard Crew Dragon (also known as Dragon 2) to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which will return human spaceflight capability to the United States for the first time since the Space Shuttle Program was retired in 2011.
[Image: spacexcrew_20180803_bi0i1604.jpg]Top row, left to right: NASA Astronauts Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins; bottom row, left to right:  NASA Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley

Following SpaceX’s first demonstration mission without humans aboard Crew Dragon targeted for November 2018, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be the first two NASA astronauts to fly in the Dragon spacecraft. This mission, currently targeted for April 2019, will liftoff from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the astronauts aboard Crew Dragon atop a Falcon 9 rocket.
[Image: bobdouginterior_20180802_bi0i0687.jpg]From left to right: NASA Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley

After Crew Dragon’s demonstration mission with crew is complete, Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins will be the first two NASA astronauts to launch aboard Crew Dragon to the International Space Station for a long-duration mission. This mission will mark SpaceX’s first operational crew mission under our current Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with NASA.
[Image: victormikeexterior_bi0i0824.jpg]From left to right: NASA Astronauts Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins

As Dragon prepares to carry humans for the first time, the spacecraft continues to make regular trips to the International Space Station carrying cargo under SpaceX’s Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. Currently, Dragon is the only spacecraft flying that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
SpaceX announces new plan to send tourist around Moon
September 14, 2018 by Kerry Sheridan

[Image: 1-billionairee.jpg]
Billionaire entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk, pictured in September 2017 speaking below a computer generated illustration of his new rocket, says he wants to enable space travel for "everyday people"
SpaceX on Thursday announced a new plan to launch a tourist around the Moon using its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a massive launch vehicle that is being designed to carry people into deep space.

"SpaceX has signed the world's first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle—an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space," the company said on Twitter.

SpaceX gave no further details, but said more information would follow on Monday.

This is not the first time the California-based company, headed by Internet entrepreneur and Tesla electric car CEO Elon Musk, has touted plans to send tourists around the Moon.

In February, 2017, SpaceX announced it would send the world's first two space tourists around the Moon in late 2018.

That plan called for them to ride on a Dragon crew vehicle, similar to the cargo ships that SpaceX routinely sends loaded with supplies to the International Space Station.

They would have blasted off aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket.

However, the company has remained mum about those plans in recent months.

The names and identities of those two tourists—and how much they intended to pay—were never revealed.

SpaceX declined an AFP request for more details, but said further information would follow Monday at an event lasting from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm (0030 GMT to 0200 GMT).

Footprints on the Moon

Humans have not set foot on the Moon since the final Apollo mission in 1972, capping an era of US national pride.

American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to explore the lunar surface in 1969, a moment seen and heard around the world when Armstrong declared "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Only 24 people in history have ever been to the Moon.

US President Donald Trump has championed plans to put boots on the Moon again, as NASA works on building a lunar gateway that would serve as a launching point for missions heading even further into deep space, such as asteroids or Mars.

SpaceX is a key commercial partner to NASA, and is working on a crew ship that will make its first flight to the orbiting International Space Station next year, restoring access to space from US soil for the first time since 2011, when the space shuttle program was retired after 30 years.

Boeing is also hard at work on its crew vehicle, with pioneering flights planned for 2019 as well.

SpaceX currently has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to supply the astronauts living at the ISS, via regular cargo trips on its Dragon spaceship, launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

The BFR is SpaceX's newest rocket, a super powerful launch vehicle with 31 engines and the capacity to lift 150 tons into space.

During a speech in Australia last year, Musk said he was hopeful that the BFR would be able to launch and land at last two cargo ships on Mars by 2022.

"I feel fairly confident that we can complete the ship and launch in about five years," Musk said.

Read more at:

3,2,1: SpaceX counts down to reveal mystery Moon traveller (Update)
September 17, 2018 by Ivan Couronne

[Image: thisartistsi.jpg]
This artist's illustration courtesy of SpaceX shows the SpaceX BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) passenger spacecraft, which has only been shown in designs and images so far
SpaceX says it will reveal on Monday the name of the mysterious passenger it plans to send into orbit around the Moon, an ambitious project spearheaded by eccentric CEO Elon Musk.

An event to unveil the first lunar traveler since the last US Apollo mission in 1972 is planned for Monday at 6:00 pm (0100 GMT Tuesday) at SpaceX's headquarters and rocket factory in Hawthorne, California, in the middle of metropolitan Los Angeles.

An onslaught of questions about the passenger's identity on Twitter has failed to coax any details from Musk, except one hint.

In answer to a query about whether Musk himself would be the passenger, he tweeted an emoji of a Japanese flag.

Until now, Americans are the only ones who have left Earth's orbit. A total of 24 NASA astronauts—all white men—voyaged to the Moon during the Apollo era of the 1960s and '70s. Twelve of them walked on the lunar surface.

Musk's tweet suggests that the first Moon tourist could be different.

In announcing the event last week, SpaceX described the journey as "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space."

It also said it would reveal "why"—a word that may imply the mission has a goal other than simply satisfying the whim of a wealthy client.

The price of a ticket and the date of travel are unknown.

[Image: 2-californiaba.jpg]
California-based SpaceX is headed by Elon Musk, an internet entrepreneur and CEO of the Tesla electric car company
The ride will take place aboard a Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which has only been shown in designs and images so far, and may not be ready for human flight for another four to five years at least, according to speculation from industry media.

The BFR was first announced in 2016, touted as the most powerful rocket in history, even more potent than the Saturn V Moon rocket that launched the Apollo missions five decades ago.

Last year, Musk told a space congress in Australia that the BFR's admittedly ambitious goal was to make a test flight to Mars in 2022, followed by a crewed flight to the Red Planet in 2024.

'Multi-planetary species'

As curiosity mounts over the futuristic rocket, Musk tweeted three images, showing it will consist of a first stage with engines and fuel systems, and a second stage with the spacecraft where the passengers will ride.

Like SpaceX's existing rockets, the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, the first stage can detach from the rest of the rocket and return to Earth for an upright landing.


The spacecraft will continue on toward the Moon, powered by its own engines.

The BFR spacecraft's shape is reminiscent of the space shuttle, the bus-like US spaceships that carried astronauts to space 135 times from 1981 to 2011.

Musk has said he wants the BFR's vessel to be able to hold around 100 people. The volume of its interior pressurized area would be comparable to that of an Airbus A380—something that has never been done.

[Image: theshapeofsp.jpg]
The shape of SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket, shown in an artist's illustration, is reminiscent of the space shuttle
Musk has said the launch system could one day be used to colonize the Moon and Mars in order to make humans a "multi-planetary" species.

A Martian mission is far more complicated than a back-and-forth trip around the Moon.

A Mars trip could take three to six months, including several fuel-ups.

Going to the Moon could be far quicker. US astronauts generally made the trip in about three days.

Whatever the details turn out to be, SpaceX's Moon trip promises to be far superior to space tourism plans currently under way by other private companies.

Virgin Galactic, founded by British tycoon Richard Branson, and billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's rocket company Blue Origin, are working on trips to the edge of space that could offer tourists a chance at weightlessness for 10 minutes or so.

Virgin's trip will cost about $250,000. Blue Origin's price has not yet been revealed.

Russian and Chinese companies are also working on space tourism plans.

Read more at:
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
I don't know if this 2018 Moon orbit with two people is maybe a hinge thing?

This is when HE should be going to Mars, though a turn around the Moon first might be a good idea before FINALLY cutting the 'umbilical chord' to land on Mars at 40 degree latitude, 320 deg East longitude.

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]

Quote:Virgin Galactic, 
founded by British tycoon Richard Branson, 
and billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's rocket company Blue Origin, 
are working on trips to the edge of space Uhoh 
that could offer tourists a chance at weightlessness for 10 minutes or so  Rofl

Virgin's trip will cost about $250,000. Rofl

Space tourism Nonono
My dreams can do better than that.

And I don't have to shit or piss into a suction hose when I wake up in the morning,
if I pass on the free ticket to the moon,
Space X Magic Bus.

Quote:Musk has said he wants the BFR's vessel to be able to hold around 100 people

A spacecraft full of Magic Bus Tards.
aka ... space tourists.
They all get to use the same suction hoses in the can, to take a crap? 
Or does Space X supply disposable hoses?

What Space X needs on the BFR vessel ... are private ... sex pads ... with a view window,
sex in zero G.
Cold beer on tap.

Who will be the first person to smoke marijuana in space?
On the moon?


Don't forget a lighter and a pack of papers.

A Casino Royale in Cydonia with a 5 star domed golf course designed by Tiger Woods.

Suddenly I am a tourist,
but by then,
it will only take a few minutes ... hours ... or days at most ... to get to Mars.

Quote:Virgin Galactic, 
founded by British tycoon Richard Branson, 
billionaire Amazon founder,
Jeff Bezos's rocket company Blue Origin, 
are working on trips .............................  to the edge of space Uhoh 

that could offer Magic Bus Tourist Tards Whip 

a chance at weightlessness for 10 minutes or so  Rofl

Japan firm signs with SpaceX for lunar missions
September 26, 2018

[Image: thejapanesef.jpg]
The Japanese firm hopes to send two missions to the moon
A Japanese start-up is to send spacecraft to the moon in a deal signed with Elon Musk's SpaceX, the Tokyo-based firm said Wednesday.

Private lunar exploration company ispace said it would blast a lander and rovers towards the moon on a SpaceX rocket on two separate missions.

The spaceware will first orbit the moon in mid-2020, followed by a moon landing attempt set for mid-2021.

It comes a week after SpaceX confirmed Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the first man to fly around the moon on a SpaceX rocket as early as 2023.

"We share the vision with SpaceX of enabling humans to live in space, so we're very glad they will join us in this first step of our journey," ispace CEO Takeshi Hakamada said in a statement.

Hakamada also told reporters the company chose SpaceX as it is "highly credible" and "capable".

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement that the company is "proud to have been selected by ispace to launch their first lunar missions".

Hakamada said he could not reveal costs for lunar programmes.

The company has already collected nearly $95 million from investors.

ispace, which now has more than 60 employees, competed as one of five finalists in the Google Lunar XPrize, which offered $30 million in prizes but ended with no winner.

Read more at:

Lockheed Martin unveils its lunar lander concept vehicle
October 4, 2018

[Image: 1-lockheedmart.jpg]
Lockheed Martin's lunar lander concept vehicle is designed to carry a crew of four and be able to stay on the moon for up to two weeks
US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, responding to NASA's plans to renew the exploration of the moon and Mars in the next decade, unveiled Wednesday a concept spacecraft able to land on the lunar surface.

The US space agency said it plans to send astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972 as the initial stage for a future trip to Mars—part of an official US policy set by President Donald Trump.

To achieve this goal, NASA has called on aerospace industry producers to present plans to build a space station that orbits around the moon, dubbed the "Lunar Gateway," as well as spacecraft that land on the moon.

The orbiting station is supposed to be assembled, with the help of other countries, in the 2020s and be able to accommodate four people by 2026, according to a NASA calendar presented in August.

Lockheed Martin's concept lunar landing craft, designed to shuttle between the moon's surface and the orbiting "Lunar Gateway," was unveiled at the World Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany.

The craft can accommodate four people, carry one metric ton of equipment, and stay on the moon for up to two weeks without refueling before returning to the orbiting the station.

At a glance, the four-legged craft looks like a taller version of the one used by the first US astronauts to walk on the moon in 1969.

Ahead of this however NASA wants to send astronauts in 2023 on an eight-day trip around the Moon aboard the Orion, a Lockheed Martin spaceship. That craft will be sent into space aboard NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), still under development and designed to be the most powerful rocket ever built.

Separately, the privately-owned SpaceX is also aiming to launch its first tourist trip around the moon in 2023 aboard its own Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the first passenger, and he promised to invite six to eight artists to accompany him.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: SpaceX announces new plan to send tourist around Moon

Read more at:
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
from the last post

Quote:Japanese billionaire Yusaku Ninja  Maezawa 
will be the first man to fly around the moon on a SpaceX rocket as early as 2023.

He will fly ... First Class ... one passenger privilege.
Good for him.
If he really wanted to do something special.
he could take 50 million to Space X,
and get a contract for a trip around the planet Mars.
Yusaku wants a a quick in and out trip,
Mars takes a bigger commitment of time and risk.

Quote:Ahead of this however NASA wants to send astronauts in 2023 
on an eight-day trip around the Moon, 
aboard the Orion, 
a Lockheed Martin spaceship. 
That craft will be sent into space aboard NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), 
still under development,
and designed to be the most powerful rocket ever built.

Well I hope we are all still here for this event,
and to see if they really get the SLS built as advertised.
That and the military space station that they have planned for permanent lunar orbit.

First SpaceX mission with astronauts set for June 2019: NASA
October 5, 2018

[Image: spacexwillus.jpg]
SpaceX will use its Falcon 9 rocket to launch its Crew Dragon capsule - simulator pictured here - to the orbiting International Space Station
NASA has announced the first crewed flight by a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) is expected to take place in June 2019.

It will be the first manned US launch to the orbiting research laboratory since the space shuttle program was retired in 2011, forcing US astronauts to hitch costly rides aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
A flight on Boeing spacecraft is set to follow in August 2019.
The timetable for both launches has already been postponed several times, but NASA said Thursday it would now be providing monthly updates on deadlines.
"This new process for reporting our schedule is better; nevertheless, launch dates will still have some uncertainty, and we anticipate they may change as we get closer to launch," said Phil McAlister, director of Commercial Spaceflight Development at NASA Headquarters.
"These are new spacecraft, and the engineering teams have a lot of work to do before the systems will be ready to fly."
Both missions are considered tests: the two astronauts transported in each flight will spend two weeks aboard the orbiting ISS before returning to Earth.
In the long term, NASA will use SpaceX and Boeing to take astronauts to the ISS for regular missions, which last about six months.
SpaceX will carry out an uncrewed test in January 2019, and Boeing in March 2019.
SpaceX will use its Falcon 9 rocket for its launch with a Crew Dragon capsule attached on top.
Boeing's Starliner ship will be propelled into space by an Atlas V rocket made by the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture with Lockheed Martin.
NASA is depending on the success of both missions as its contract with the Russian space agency expires in November 2019.

[Image: astronautspi.jpg]
Astronauts picked for SpaceX, Boeing capsule test flights
[Image: 1x1.gif] August 3, 2018
NASA on Friday assigned the astronauts who will ride the first commercial capsules into orbit next year and bring crew launches back to the U.S.

Read more at:

This Won’t Be Subtle’: SpaceX Successfully Launches and Lands Rocket on West Coast for First Time
Posted 10:54 AM, October 7, 2018, by Brian Day and Steve Kuzj, Updated at 10:36PM, October 7, 2018

Southern California residents were being warned to expect a large sonic boom Sunday evening as SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base before successfully executing its first-ever landing on the West Coast, according to the company and military officials.
The launch was scheduled for shortly after 7:20 p.m., Vandenberg Air Force base officials said in an advisory. The rocket carried the Argentinian SOACOM 1A radar mapping satellite.
Those near the base, which is near Lompoc, were able to see quite a show as the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket burned its rocket engines to come to a gentle landing back at the air force base.
"During the landing attempt, residents from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties may hear one or more sonic booms," according to the advisory issued prior to the launch. "A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves from an aircraft or vehicle traveling faster than the speed of sound. Sonic booms generate a sound similar to an explosion or a clap of thunder."
[Image: boom.jpg?quality=85&strip=all&w=300&strip=all]A graphic explaining sonic booms, provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on Oct. 7, 2018.
It was SpaceX's first time trying to land one of its reusable rockets on the West Coast. Prior landings have taken place on the East Coast.
Before the launch, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to warn Californians what was in store for them.
"Sonic boom warning. This won't be subtle," he wrote.
The loudness of the boom depends on the weather and other conditions, officials added.

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Branson says Virgin Galactic to launch space flight 'within weeks'
October 9, 2018

[Image: thebillionai.jpg]
The billionaire entrepreneur said his Virgin Galactic was 'more than tantalisingly close' to launching its first mission to space
British entrepreneur Richard Branson said he expects his Virgin Galactic company to conduct its first space flight "within weeks, not months" in comments broadcast Tuesday.

Speaking to CNBC in Singapore, the billionaire Virgin founder said the company was "more than tantalisingly close" to launching its first mission to space, and that he himself hoped to briefly leave Earth within "months not years."

"We will be in space with people not too long after that," he added.

Branson's Virgin Galactic is racing against Amazon creator Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin to launch the first out-of-this-world passenger flight and take paying passengers into space.

Both companies will offer customers a weightless experience that will last just minutes, passing through the imaginary line marking where space begins—either the Karman line, at 100 kilometres (62 miles), or the 50-mile boundary recognised by the US Air Force.

At this altitude, the sky looks dark and the curvature of the Earth can be seen clearly.

The first space tourists, who visited the International Space Station (ISS) in the 2000s, paid tens of millions of dollars for the privilege.

Branson said the proposed $250,000 price tag of a Virgin Galactic ticket would allow those who dreamed of visiting space to lift off in larger numbers.

"If I have a room full of 10 people, eight out of 10 would love to go to space if they could afford it," he said.

"Ultimately," Branson said he hoped the price of a space flight would come down to around $40,000 or $50,000 over the next decade."

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: First space tourist flights could come in 2019

Read more at:
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Anglo 5Headline News
Space Force: Musk Pleads for U.S to Have Bases on Moon and Mars
[Image: me-150x150.png]By Paul Antonopoulos Last updated Nov 4, 2018

[Image: 1-14-750x430.jpg]

The entrepreneur, who also founded Tesla, plunged into his business plans for next year in an interview on the Recode Decode podcast. While talking to Tesla and SpaceX, Musk expressed his admiration for Trump’s provisional Space Force.

“Well, this may be a little controversial, but I actually like the idea. I think it’s cool,” Musk said.

“You know, like, when the Air Force was formed, there was a lot of like pooh-poohing, and like, “Oh, how silly to have an Air Force!” You know, because the aircraft in World War II were managed by the Army. And so you had the Army and the Navy and the Coast Guard and the Marines, and then … it became pretty obvious that you really needed a specialized division to manage aircraft. And so the Air Force was created,” he said.
“And people today may not realize back then it was wildly panned as a ridiculous thing to create the Air Force, but now everyone’s like,

‘Obviously you should have an Air Force.’ And I think it’s gonna become obvious that we should have a Space Force, too,” he added.
When asked about exactly what for, Musk said bluntly, “You know, it’s basically defense in space,” quickly adding that “I think also it could be pretty helpful for maybe expanding our civilization … You know, expanding things beyond Earth.”

Trump’s proposal of an army in space brought widespread ridicule when he suggested earlier this year.

“And we’re actually thinking of a sixth, and that would be the Space Force,” Trump said. “You probably haven’t even heard that,” he added. “I’m just telling you now. We’re getting very big in space, both militarily and for other reasons, and we are seriously thinking of the Space Force.”

For Musk, the idea seems to go well with his futuristic vision of space humanity – and that of a particular Martian base.

“You know, the Space Force could be something that … Like, I think we could just have a base on the moon, for example. A base on Mars. Be great to expand on the idea of a Space Force,” he added. “I think the idea of being out there among the stars and among the planets is very exciting.”

As an intriguing prospect, Musk and Trump would have to circumvent Article IV of the Space Treaty, signed first by the United States, United Kingdom and the Soviet Union in 1967. It prevents weapons and military bases from being built on the Moon and other celestial bodies.


Give Elon the $$$ and he'll beat NASA by 10-15 years !!!
Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]

from the last post

Quote:As an intriguing prospect, 
Musk and Trump would have to circumvent Article IV of the Space Treaty, 
signed first by the United States, 
United Kingdom and the Soviet Union in 1967. 

It prevents Nonono weapons and military bases from being built on the Moon and other celestial bodies.


that silly treaty goes back to Dr. Strangelove days.

Space Force?
Hell yes!
uh ... what space force?

[Image: giphy.webp]

Musk said:

“You know, the Space Force could be something that … Like, I think we could just have a base on the moon, for example. A base on Mars. Be great to expand on the idea of a Space Force,” he added. “I think the idea of being out there among the stars and among the planets is very exciting.”

  Naughty    Exciting?

What about Cydonia?     Doh

S   P   R   E   A    D            I    T           E      V     E     R     Y     W     H     E     R     E  

Also today I got this:

HiRISE images covering your suggested target(s) are now available

Dear Robert Williams,

HiRISE images have been acquired and released for one or more of your suggested targets. The data are now available on the HiRISE website at the urls listed below.

Note: The descriptions you entered for your suggested targets are listed below, however, the official image descriptions maintained by the HiRISE Team may differ.  The HiRISE Team tries to make the official image descriptions consistent with the current Mars nomenclature and the geologic features found in the images.

Suggestion ID    Observation URL                            Release Status
23896      Initial Release
Description: Filling in major Enigmatic targets of the CAAIM

Additional Note: Our target retirement software will retire a target suggestion if the center of the suggestion falls inside the footprint of the retiring observation, or if the center of the observation falls inside the suggestion footprint.  This system is not intended to guarantee complete coverage of a target, but usually provides enough coverage to meet the science objectives.  If your target did not get adequate coverage by the retiring observation, you may submit a new target suggestion to cover the region missed by the observation.

Thank you for your support in making HiRISE a successful mission and we hope you enjoy the images. If you have questions about the acquired images, please use the contact form on the HiRISE website:

Thank you,

The HiRISE Team

Thank You HiWish and HiRise for helping us fill-in the CAAIM with bigger images we WILL be putting them together at some near point in the future to try and make you CHOOSE to land the #2020CydoniaRover, and actually call it THAT or Cindy Cydonia or Cydonia Spice

Bob... Ninja Assimilated

PS Writing the President at the White House a LETTER wouldn't hurt ether everyone. Does he want a Space Force that will Boldly Go Where into the Unknown or does he want Scientific Cowardice to be the order of the day?
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
NASA certifies Falcon 9 for highest priority science missions
by Jeff Foust — November 9, 2018
[img=719x0][/img]A SpaceX Falcon 9 launches NASA's TESS mission in April 2018. Credit: NASA KSC/Tony Gray

WASHINGTON — NASA has certified SpaceX’s Falcon 9 to launch the agency’s most important science missions, giving the agency new options that could result in lower costs.
SpaceX said that the NASA Launch Services Program (LSP) awarded its Category 3 certification for the company’s Falcon 9 rocket. That certification allows NASA to use the Falcon 9 for its highest-value science missions.
“LSP Category 3 certification is a major achievement for the Falcon 9 team and represents another key milestone in our close partnership with NASA,” Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX, said in a statement. “We are honored to have the opportunity to provide cost-effective and reliable launch services to the country’s most critical scientific payloads.”
The Category 3 classification requires a vehicle to have performed at least 3, and as many as 14, successful launches. The difference in number of launches depends on the amount of additional NASA audits and reviews of the vehicle are performed to verify its reliability; more reviews allow NASA to certify the vehicle with a fewer number of launches. SpaceX did not specify what approach it used with NASA to obtain the Category 3 certification.
The current version of the Falcon 9, the Block 5, has performed six launches to date, all successfully. The overall Falcon 9 family has carried out more than 60 launches dating back to 2010, with one in-flight failure on a Dragon cargo mission in 2015 and a pad explosion in 2016 during preparations for a pre-launch static-fire test. There have been 34 consecutive successful Falcon 9 launches since that 2016 explosion.
Category 3 launch vehicles can be used for any NASA science mission, but the agency’s highest priority missions, defined as Class A and Class B, can only use Category 3 vehicles with rare exceptions. Such missions range from flagship-class space science missions down to less expensive Discovery-class planetary science missions, as well as Mars orbiters and landers. Those missions are considered to have high national significance, complexity and cost, with little or no chance of flying again in the event of a failure.
The certification of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 provides new options for NASA for those high-priority missions. Previously, only United Launch Alliance offered Category 3 vehicles for NASA missions other than Northrop Grumman’s Pegasus XL, which can launch only small satellites.
That classification system does not apply to the commercial cargo, and future commercial crew, missions that SpaceX carries out for NASA. The agency procures those missions outside of the NASA Launch Services Program contracts.
SpaceX has launched lower-priority missions for NASA that did not require Category 3 certification. That included the Jason-3 oceanography mission in 2016 and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) in April.

Welcome to the space club Rocket Lab and NZ  LilD

Rocket Lab performs first commercial launch

by Jeff Foust — November 10, 2018
[img=719x0][/img]Rocket Lab's Electron rocket lifts off from its New Zealand launch site on the "It's Business Time" mission. Credit: Rocket Lab

Updated 9:20 a.m. Eastern Nov. 11 with post-launch statement.
WASHINGTON — Rocket Lab successfully launched its Electron rocket Nov. 10 on a long-delayed first commercial mission for the small launch vehicle.
The Electron lifted off from the company’s Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula at 10:50 p.m. Eastern (4:50 p.m. local time Nov. 11) after a trouble-free countdown. The two-stage rocket released an upper stage, called Curie, into orbit nine minutes after liftoff.
Curie ignited its engines 51 minutes after liftoff to go into a circular 500-kilometer orbit at an inclination of 85 degrees. Three minutes later it released its payload of six small satellites.
“We’re thrilled to be leading the small satellite launch industry by reaching orbit a second time and deploying more payloads,” Peter Beck, chief executive of Rocket Lab, said in a post-launch statement. “The team carried out a flawless flight with incredibly precise orbital insertion.”
Those satellites included two Lemur-2 cubesats for Spire, which operates a constellation of such spacecraft to collect weather data as well as track vessels and aircraft. The Cicero-10 small satellite built by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems for weather satellite constellation company GeoOptics was also on the launch, as was IRVINE01, a cubesat built by high school students in Southern California. IRVINE01 features an electric propulsion system developed by Accion Systems, marking the first flight of that company’s technology.
Fleet, an Australian company developing a constellation of smallsats for Internet of Things services, added two 1.5-unit Proxima cubesats to the mission in October. The satellites are the first to be launched by the company, ahead of larger 3-unit cubesats that are part of a SpaceX Falcon 9 dedicated rideshare mission scheduled to launch later in November.
An additional payload, called NABEO and developed by High Performance Space Structure Systems GmBH, will remain attached to Curie. It will deploy a sail after the release of the other satellites to test its use as a means of deorbiting satellites. That payload was installed in cooperation with Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation, which announced an agreement with Rocket Lab in August to arrange similar hosted payloads on future Electron missions.
The launch was the third mission for the Electron, and the first since a January test flight that was the first to reach orbit. This mission, dubbed “It’s Business Time” by Rocket Lab, marked the beginning of routine commercial operations.
That mission was originally scheduled for launch in April but postponed because of a motor controller problem in one of the rocket’s first stage engines. The company corrected the problem and rescheduled the launch for late June, only to have the problem reappear.
In an August interview, Beck said the company decided to make changes to the design of the controller to address the problem. “We made the decision to bite the bullet,” he said then. “We’ll go in there and make some changes to the hardware, some components of the motor controller.”
With this success the company plans to step up the pace of launches. Rocket Lab’s next Electron mission is expected to take place in December, carrying a collection of cubesats from NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative under a contract awarded by NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services program in 2015. That launch will take place “within a few weeks,” Beck said in the statememt.

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
[Image: new-concept-launch-vehicle-human-spacefl...44x144.jpg]

China developing new launch vehicle for human spaceflight, future moon missions

SpaceX is going to build a mini-BFR to launch on a Falcon 9
November 12, 2018 by Matt Williams, Universe Today

[Image: spacexisgoin.jpg]
Credit: SpaceX
In September of 2016, Elon Musk unveiled his vision for a super-heavy launch vehicle, which would be SpaceX's most ambitious project to date. Known as the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), this massive launch vehicle is central to Musk's plan of conducting space tourism with flights into orbit and to the Moon. It is also intrinsic to his vision of sending astronauts and colonists to Mars.

Ever since, the astronomical and aerospace community has been paying close attention to any updates provided by Musk on the BFR's development. In his latest update, which was made via Twitter, Musk indicated that his company will be building a small, winged version of the massive spaceship component – the Big Falcon Spaceship (BFS) – which will be launch-tested using a Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy rocket.

Musk indicated that this would be part of the "SpaceX tech tree build", the purpose of which is to ensure that the company's engineers and personnel gain valuable experience with the BFR's new design and recovery strategy. According to Eric Ralph of Teslarati, its intended purpose is also to act as developmental stepping stone between the Falcon 9 and the BFR, which are two very different launch vehicles that rely on different technologies.

Quote:[Image: 0o9cdCOp_normal.jpg]
[/url]Elon Musk


Mod to SpaceX tech tree build: Falcon 9 second stage will be upgraded to be like a mini-BFR Ship

1:31 PM - Nov 7, 2018  

In addition to being much more massive than the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, the BFR will be a single system, consisting instead of a massive first stage booster and an equally massive second stage spaceship (the BFS). The design also calls for actuators on the front and two on the three rear fins to help control the rocket through a variety of atmospheric densities and velocities.

[Image: 1-spacexisgoin.jpg]
Artist’s impression of the BFR rocket being launched into orbit. Credit: SpaceX
In response to questions about when this test flight might take place, Musk replied that company hopes to conduct the first orbital flight of this mini-BFS as early as June 2019. Based on this optimistic timeline, Ralph surmises that the test will not involve an actual scale model of the Big Falcon Spacecraft, but a close facsimile:

"It seems likely that the miniature spaceship will essentially just be a strengthened Falcon 9 upper stage with fins and a heat shield attached versus a more extreme departure, where the stage would literally be a mini-BFS."

The former scenario appears more likely, he claims, as it would take additional time to miniaturize all of the new technologies that will be going into the BFR. These include the carbon-fiber deep cryogenic liquid oxygen propellant tank and new propulsive landing techniques that will function in vacuum or in a thin atmosphere (i.e. on the Moon or Mars).

However, this test will still be an opportunity to validate key technologies of the BFR, such as its actuated tripod fins, heat shield and other hardware components. Musk also indicated that the mini-BFS would not land under its own propulsion (as the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy do) due to the Merlin vacuum engines having a thrust-to-weight ratio that is too high.

Instead, Musk said, what the mini-BFS will be conducting is essentially a supersonic and practice reentry to test its lightweight heat shielding and high mach control surfaces. He also indicated that this would not be a propulsive landing because of his company's track record retrieving the first stages of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. "I think we have a handle on propulsive landings," he tweeted.

Based on twitter statements made by Musk back in April, the plan to recover the mini-BFS will apparently involve bringing the "rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon," followed by "And then land on a bouncy house." For the record, he preceded these statements by saying, "This is gonna sound crazy, but…" So we can assume he's being serious.

Quote:[Image: 0o9cdCOp_normal.jpg]
Elon Musk


 · Apr 15, 2018

This is gonna sound crazy, but …

Quote:[Image: 0o9cdCOp_normal.jpg]
Elon Musk


SpaceX will try to bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon

5:04 PM - Apr 15, 2018

According to Musk, the tests will be taking place at the SpaceX South Texas Launch Site, which is currently being built in Boca Chica Village, Texas. Interestingly enough, the proposed launch date coincides with the launch of the first SpaceX's Starlink satellites – a constellation of satellites that will provide global broadband internet access.

According to a recent report from Reuters, the first batch of these satellites are also scheduled to launch in June of 2019. As Ralph speculates, this could mean that Musk intends to test the mini-BFS by transporting his own company's satellites into orbit. This would make sense, in that it would allow SpaceX to test the BFS' capability to deliver cargo into orbit while ensuring that company incurs all the risk (rather than a commercial partner).

It is an exciting time for the NewSpace community and space exploration enthusiasts. Between SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and other private aerospace companies, some rather significant strides are being taken. With every passing year, the possibility of space tourism, lunar tourism, and even regular missions to Mars appear to be getting closer.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: SpaceX unveils new Falcon Heavy rocket before January launch

Source: Universe Today

ESA targets 2021 for Space Rider demo flight

by Tereza Pultarova — November 13, 2018
[img=719x0][/img]Space Rider aims to provide Europe with an affordable, independent, reusable end-to-end integrated space transportation system for routine access and return from low orbit. It will be used to transport payloads for an array of applications, orbit altitudes and inclinations. Credit: ESA

ROME — The European Space Agency expects to carry out the qualification flight of the Space Rider spaceplane in 2021 followed by multiple demonstration missions before handing over the program to industry, according to Lucia Linares, head of ESA space transportation strategy and policy.
Speaking at the PhiWeek, a five-day conference focusing on the future of Earth observation taking place Nov. 12-16 at the ESA Centre for Earth Observation (ESRIN) in Frascati, Italy, Linares said the private sector showed a lot of interest in the spaceplane during a recent Space Rider workshop.
“We had big interest from commercial companies,” Linares said. “Being it for pharmaceutical applications but also for health issues, for instance for testing how blood circulates in microgravity.”
Space Rider, a continuation of ESA’s Intermediate Experimental Vehicle (IXV), which flew in space in 2015, will be able to carry up to 800 kilograms of payload for orbital missions lasting as long as two months. The platform would allow payload to be exposed to microgravity and the space environment for a longer period, after which it would be returned to the Earth.
“We plan to have a number of demonstration missions to demonstrate a range of capabilities – in orbit demonstration and validation, defense and security applications and, of course, commercial opportunities,” Linares said.
Linares also said that ESA and its partner Arianespace are readying for a proof-of-concept flight of the Small Spacecraft Mission Service, which is set to take place in early 2019.
The mission will test a new smallsat dispenser aboard the Vega rocket,  Arianespace’s smallest launcher.
Linares said that after issuing an announcement of opportunities for the demonstration in 2017, the agency received an overwhelming response mostly from the commercial industry.
“We received numerous proposals: 71 responses, 166 spacecraft, of which only 30 are institutional,” Linares said.
“We have selected the aggregate that will fly on the first proof-of-concept flight, which is formed of seven nano and micro satellites, more than half of which are commercial and up to 44 cubesats in up to 12 deployers.”
Linares added that ESA prioritized missions focused on Earth observation to fly on the demo flight.
The agency, she said, is also looking to support commercial micro-launcher developments, in line with the vision of the ESA Director General Jan Woerner, who sees ESA’s role in what he calls the Space 4.0 era as an enabler of private endeavors rather than the dominant funder or lead implementer of projects.
“We want to move with this paradigm to follow the request of commercial actors in Europe and when they have an idea privately funded, which they believe in, then ESA should be there to support them to build in competitiveness in Europe,” Linares said.

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
NASA announces target date for first SpaceX Crew Dragon flight
November 21, 2018 William Harwood
[Image: dragonliftoff_2.jpg]
Artist’s concept of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft launching atop a Falcon 9 rocket. Credit: NASA
SpaceX is targeting Jan. 7 for launch of its first Crew Dragon commercial ferry ship on an unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station, NASA announced Wednesday, a major milestone in the agency’s drive to end its sole reliance on Russian Soyuz crew ships for carrying astronauts to orbit.

If the shakedown flight goes smoothly — and if a NASA safety probe unveiled Tuesday doesn’t turn up any show stoppers — SpaceX could be ready to launch the first piloted Crew Dragon atop a Falcon 9 rocket in the June timeframe, carrying veteran NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the space station.
Boeing also is building a commercial crew spacecraft called the CST-100 Starliner. An unpiloted test flight currently is planned for March — a specific date has not been announced — followed by a piloted flight to the station in August. Boeing will use United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rockets to boost Starliner spacecraft into orbit.
Both companies still face a variety of technical hurdles, and the dates are tentative at best.
Boeing has encountered propulsion problems in the Starliner’s abort system and is behind schedule on key tests while SpaceX faces “serious difficulties,” according to the NASA Aerospace Advisory Panel, including concerns about high-pressure helium tanks used in the Falcon 9 booster and parachute issues with the Crew Dragon.
But SpaceX officials say the company is on track for launch in January and that hardware processing, crew training and ground support preparations are proceeding as planned.
However it plays out, NASA managers are hopeful one or both companies will be certified to begin operational crew rotation flights sometime next year, ending the agency’s reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft, the only available transportation for U.S., European, Canadian and Japanese astronauts since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011.
The unpiloted Crew Dragon flight coming up in January, known as Demo-1 on the SpaceX manifest, will launch from historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Liftoff is expected around 11:57 p.m. EST (GMT-5) when Earth’s rotation carries the pad into the plane of the station’s orbit.
Once released from the Falcon 9, the spacecraft is expected to carry out an autonomous rendezvous with the International Space Station, gliding in to a docking at the lab’s recently modified forward port where shuttles once berthed. After a short stay, the capsule will undock and return to Earth with an ocean splashdown.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft pictured at NASA’s Plum Brook Station test facility. Credit: SpaceX[Image: 28071867457_3dc57fd7ab_k.jpg][img=678x0][/img]
On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that NASA is launching a major review of the safety “cultures” at both Boeing and SpaceX. In a statement, NASA said the review is intended “to ensure the companies are meeting NASA’s requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment.”
“We fully expect our commercial partners to meet all workplace safety requirements in the execution of our missions and the services they provide the American people,” the statement continued. “As always, NASA will ensure they do so.”
The Post, citing sources, reported the review was triggered in part by the recent behavior of SpaceX founder Elon Musk “after he took a hit of marijuana and sipped whisky on a podcast streamed on the internet.”
A SpaceX spokesman told CBS News that human spaceflight “is the core mission of our company” and “there is nothing more important to SpaceX than this endeavor.”
“We take seriously the responsibility that NASA has entrusted in us to safely and reliably carry American astronauts to and from the International Space Station,” he said. “For years, our engineers have worked side-by-side with NASA, creating a strong partnership and guiding the development of Crew Dragon, one of the safest, most-advanced human spaceflight systems ever built.”
He said the company actively promotes workplace safety and managers are confident “that our comprehensive drug-free workforce and workplace programs exceed all applicable contractual requirements.”
For its part, a Boeing spokesman said the company’s culture “ensures the integrity, safety and quality of our products, our people and their work environment. As NASA’s trusted partner since the beginning of human spaceflight, we share the same values and are committed to continuing our legacy of trust, openness and mission success.”
The commercial crew program grew out of a NASA-sponsored competition that began in 2011 and ended in September 2014 when the agency announced that Boeing and SpaceX would share $6.8 billion to develop independent space taxis, the first new U.S. crewed spacecraft since the shuttle.
SpaceX is building the Crew Dragon under a $2.6 billion contract. SpaceX also holds NASA contracts valued at more than $2 billion for 20 space station cargo missions using unpiloted Dragon capsules. A subsequent contract for an unspecified amount covers another six cargo flights.
Boeing was awarded a $4.2 billion contract for CST-100 Starliner development. Unlike the Crew Dragon, the Starliner will use parachutes and airbags for ground landings in the western United States.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Heat sheilding and high stress parts may get lighter and stronger.

More weight penalty alliviated for extra fuel or supply mass.

Every gram of reduced mass is a gram of stow cargo/how far you go... Reefer reduce mass more grass. greener on the 'other' carbides.   Make Ares Green Again
Disordered materials could be hardest, most heat-tolerant carbides
November 26, 2018 by Ken Kingery, Duke University

[Image: disorderedma.jpg]
A computer model of the atomic structure of one of the new carbides. The jumbled mess of carbon and five metal elements gives stability to the overall structure. Credit: Pranab Sarker, Duke University
Materials scientists at Duke University and UC San Diego have discovered a new class of carbides expected to be among the hardest materials with the highest melting points in existence. Made from inexpensive metals, the new materials may soon find use in a wide range of industries from machinery and hardware to aerospace.

A carbide is traditionally a compound consisting of carbon and one other element. When paired with a metal such as titanium or tungsten, the resulting material is extremely hard and difficult to melt. This makes carbides ideal for applications such as coating the surface of cutting tools or parts of a space vehicle.

A small number of complex carbides containing three or more elements also exist, but are not commonly found outside of the laboratory or in industrial applications. This is mostly due to the difficulties of determining which combinations can form stable structures, let alone have desirable properties.

team of materials scientists at Duke University and UC San Diego have now announced the discovery of a new class of carbides that join carbon with five different metallic elements at once. The results appear online on November 27 in the journal Nature Communications.

Achieving stability from the chaotic mixture of their atoms rather than orderly atomic structure, these materials were computationally predicted to exist by the researchers at Duke University and then successfully synthesized at UC San Diego.

"These materials are harder and lighter in weight than current carbides," said Stefano Curtarolo, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke. "They also have very high melting points and are made out of relatively cheap material mixtures. This combination of attributes should make them very useful to a wide range of industries."

When students learn about molecular structures, they're shown crystals like salt, which resembles a 3-D checkerboard. These materials gain their stability and strength through regular, ordered atomic bonds where the atoms fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Imperfections in a crystalline structure, however, can often add strength to a material. If cracks start to propagate along a line of molecular bonds, for example, a group of misaligned structures can stop it in its tracks. Hardening solid metals by creating the perfect amount of disorder is achieved through a process of heating and quenching called annealing.

The new class of five-metal carbides takes this idea to the next level. Jettisoning any reliance on crystalline structures and bonds for their stability, these materials rely completely on disorder. While a pile of baseballs won't stand on its own, a pile of baseballs, shoes, bats, hats and gloves just might.

[Image: 1-disorderedma.jpg]
The image on the left shows metallic elements forming large blocks of structures similar to each other, which does not yield a stable material. The elements in the image on the right, however, form many different structures all mixed …more
The difficulty lies in predicting which combination of elements will stand firm. Trying to make new materials is expensive and time-consuming. Computing atomic interactions through first principle simulations is even more so. And with five slots for metallic elements and 91 to choose from, the number of potential recipes quickly becomes daunting.

"To figure out which combinations will mix well, you have to do a spectral analysis based on entropy," said Pranab Sarker, a postdoctoral associate in Curtarolo's lab and one of the first authors of the paper. "Entropy is incredibly time-consuming and difficult to calculate by building a model atom-by-atom. So we tried something different."

The team first narrowed the field of ingredients to eight metals known to create carbide compounds with high hardness and melting temperatures. They then calculated how much energy it would take for a potential five-metal carbide to form a large set of random configurations.

If the results were spread far apart, it indicated that the combination would likely favor a single configuration and fall apart—like having too many baseballs in the mix. But if there were many configurations tightly clumped together, it indicated the material would likely form many different structures all at once, providing the disorder needed for structural stability.

The group then tested its theory by getting colleague Kenneth Vecchio, professor of NanoEngineering at UC San Diego, to attempt to actually make nine of the compounds. This was done by combining the elements in each recipe in a finely powdered form, pressing them at temperatures up to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit and running 2000 Amps of current directly through them.

"Learning to process these materials was a difficult task," said Tyler Harrington, a Ph.D. student in Vecchio's lab and co-first author of the paper. "They behave differently than any materials that we've ever dealt with, even the traditional carbides."

They chose the three recipes their system deemed most likely to form a stable material, the two least likely, and four random combinations that scored in between. As predicted, the three most likely candidates were successful while the two least likely were not. Three of the four intermediate scorers also formed stable structures. While the new carbides are all likely to have desirable industrial properties, one improbable combination stood out—a combination of molybdenum, niobium, tantalum, vanadium and tungsten called MoNbTaVWC5 for short.

"Getting this set of elements to combine is basically like trying to squeeze together a bunch of squares and hexagons," said Cormac Toher, an assistant research professor in Curtarolo's laboratory. "Going on intuition alone, you'd never think that combination would be feasible. But it turns out that the best candidates are actually counterintuitive."

"We don't know its exact properties yet because it hasn't been fully tested," said Curtarolo. "But once we get it into the laboratory in the next couple of months, I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be the hardest material with the highest melting point ever made."

"This collaboration is a team of researchers focused on demonstrating the unique and potentially paradigm-changing implications of this new approach," said Vecchio. "We are using innovative approaches to first-principles modeling combined with state-of-the-art synthesis and characterization tools to provide the integrated 'closed-loop' methodology so necessary for advanced materials discovery."

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Materials scientists take big step toward tougher ductile ceramics

More information: Pranab Sarker et al, High-entropy high-hardness metal carbides discovered by entropy descriptors, Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07160-7 

Journal reference: Nature Communications [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Duke University

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