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SpaceX looks set to make history as they prepare to build on their success earlier this month and launch the first used Falcon rocket. Historically,  rocket boosters have been single use. They would propel the shuttle or satellite up into space and then be jettisoned, where they would then crash down to Earth and never be used again. This has always been one of the major barriers to affordable space travel. Money isn’t the only limitation. Single use boosters mean that every rocket must essentially be be built from scratch, greatly limiting the number in active operation.

This will not be the first time that recycled parts have been used in space travel. NASA previously attempted to re-use the iconic white solid-fuel boosters from their space shuttles. Unfortunately NASA’s equipment is state of the art and quite complex. As such, the lengthy services required to get them up and running for the next launch canceled out any potential savings.

SpaceX believes they have a solution in the form of their Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 is much cheaper to operate than anything NASA uses and SpaceX have become pretty good at landing them.

The first of these “flight tested” Falcon 9 boosters will be used in today’s launch from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. The booster was successfully recovered after a previous mission in Florida eleven months ago. Following several months of detail inspection SpaceX are satisfied that the booster is ready for its second flight.

Only the First stage of the launch will be recycled. The upper stage and clamshell fairing that protect the SES-10 satellite are all new. The owner of the SES-10, Luxembourg based SES, have been offered a discount on the $62M launch and seem unconcerned about using a 2nd hand booster. As Mr Halliwell said “We would not risk such an important spacecraft, with such huge investment, on top of any rocket that we didn’t believe is actually going to make it correctly into orbit.”

The Falcon 9 rockets have not always worked perfectly  and there are other competitors nipping on SpaceX’s heels. It is incredibly important for the company that this launch goes off without a hitch as it will demonstrate to potentiality customers that their used boosters can safely carry their expensive cargo.

If you want to watch the launch, it is scheduled to begin  at 18:27 EDT and it will be live streamed by SES.

You'll find me wandering around the Science sections mostly, excitedly waving my arms around while jumping up and down about the latest science and tech news. I am also occasionally found in the gaming section, trying to convince everyone else that linux is the future of the computer gaming.

Space Exploration

Starship could make its first orbital voyage in December thanks to SpaceX

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The initial test orbital flight of the Starship has previously been postponed numerous times.

The first test orbital flight of the Starship might occur as soon as next month. The information was disclosed by Mark Kirasich, a senior NASA official in charge of the Artemis moon program’s development, during a live-streamed NASA Advisory Council meeting. Reuters reported that Kirasich stated NASA keeps tabs on four significant Starship flights, the first of which is scheduled to take place in the first part of December.

According to the previously disclosed plans, SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility in Texas will serve as the launch site for the Starship spaceship and its Super Heavy launcher. Three minutes into the journey, the launcher will separate and splash down in the Gulf of Mexico, while the Starship vehicle itself will enter orbit before reentering the atmosphere and landing on the ocean close to Hawaii. The test flight’s total duration is anticipated by the business to be 90 minutes.

Since the middle of 2021, SpaceX has been planning Starship’s first orbital voyage, but it kept getting postponed for various technical and legal reasons. For instance, the environmental evaluation for the launch facility owned by the space business in Boca Chica was just just approved. Even so, the FAA demanded more than 75 adjustments from the corporation before approving a launch license for the site to lessen the impact of its flights on the environment.

The FAA will issue the business a launch license “only when SpaceX produces all outstanding information and the agency can fully review it,” a representative for the organization told Reuters. Prior to the flight, SpaceX must also carry out and pass further tests, including a static fire test of all 33 Raptor engines on the Super Heavy booster, according to SpaceNews.

The Starship’s static fire test in July went horribly wrong when propellants under the booster caught fire. The company’s subsequent effort in August was successful, however only one Raptor engine was ignited on the Super Heavy. Starship also needs to go through a full wet dress rehearsal, which involves a rocket that is loaded with propellants going through the launch countdown but not really lifting off.

 

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Astronomy

NASA’s DART probe successfully collided with an asteroid.

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At the time of impact, the impactor vehicle, about the size of a vending machine, was moving at about 14,000 mph.

After traveling for over a year, NASA‘s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which attempted to provide answers, “Could a specially crafted satellite be used to divert an asteroid from its planet-destroying course? How about a number? “has effectively impacted the Dimorphos asteroid. However, NASA ground control has confirmed that the DART impact vehicle has intercepted the target asteroid. The results and data from the collision are still being received. Yes, Dimorphos is about the size of a football stadium, but space is very big, extremely dark, and both the asteroid and the spaceship were traveling rather quickly at the time.

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“It’s been a successful completion of the first part of the world’s first planetary defense test,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said after the impact. “I believe it’s going to teach us how one day to protect our own planet from an incoming asteroid. We are showing that planetary defense is a global endeavor and it is very possible to save our planet.”

In an effort to investigate the employment of defensive satellites as a method of planetary defense against Near Earth Objects, NASA launched the DART mission in November 2021. Nearly 68 million miles from Earth, the DART impactor vehicle, about the size of a vending machine, tragically crossed Dimorphos’ path while traveling at about 14,000 MPH.

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It remains to be seen if future generations of a planetary defense system will be packed with satellites ready to go full June Bug vs. Chrysler Windshield against real planet-killer asteroids. Dimorphos is one of two asteroids that are gravitationally entangled; its parent rock is more than five times larger than Dimorphos itself, but both are dwarfed by the space rock that struck Earth 66 million years ago and destroyed 75% of the planet’s multicellular life while gouging out the Gulf of Mexico.

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Industry and Service

Aurora Station, The First Luxuxry Hotel Experience in Space

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Aurora

Living in space has been the dream of a lot of people. Some just really want to see what wonders the Final Frontier has to behold. As such, the moment we get updates about life in space, a lot of people’s heads tend to turn and some eyebrows rise.

This time, we’re going to see the first ever luxury space hotel which was introduced during the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California. The Aurora Station is being developed by Orion Span and a group of space industry veterans.

The exclusive hotel will host six people at a time – including two crew members. Space travelers will enjoy a completely authentic, once-in-a-lifetime astronaut experience with extraordinary adventure during their 12-day journey, starting at $9.5 million USD per person.

Yeah, I forgot to say that the price is a little bit high for a lot of people, this is a luxury hotel, after all. And hey, right now those who read this article and have the money to fork over the experience, deposits are now being accepted for a future stay in the station.

The Station aims to launch in late 2021, with the capability to host its first guests the year after that. Those who can spare the coin have to pay up $80,000 USD per person online which is fully refundable.

So, users who are going to stay at the Aurora Station will have the absolutely incredible experience of living in a zero-gravity environment. Not only that but they can also be part of the experiments going on in the station such as growing food while in orbit.

Now, considering I am scared of Space because games like Dead Space have told me that it’s bad. I’d rather stay on the floor for a while longer. However, those interested into their own space experience can go and make their reservations here.

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