A US billionaire and co-founder of PayPal, Elon Musk, has made plans to build a settlement for 80,000 people on Mars when technology makes it possible for man to live there, for a price of $500,000.
Musk is a considered one of America’s most respected private space entrepreneurs and was in charge of creating SpaceX, a space transport company that produced the Falcon 9 rocket that delivers NASA cargo to the International Space Station. The billionaire’s estate and prominence in the space industry could make his plans [for a city on Mars] feasible, but the California-based engineer has not left behind his personal ideologies: Musk will only allow vegetarians to live in his settlement.
Tag Archives | SpaceX
A one-way ticket to Mars would cost a mere half million dollars, quite enticing if you’re wealthy but your daily existence on Earth is barren and meaningless. Space.com writes:
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Elon Musk, the billionaire founder and CEO of the private spaceflight company SpaceX, wants to help establish a Mars colony of up to 80,000 people by ferrying explorers to the Red Planet for perhaps $500,000 a trip. Musk figures the colony program — which he wants to be a collaboration between government and private enterprise — would end up costing about $36 billion.
“At Mars, you can start a self-sustaining civilization and grow it into something really big,” Musk told an audience at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London on Friday. In Musk’s vision, the ambitious Mars settlement program would start with a pioneering group of fewer than 10 people, who would journey to the Red Planet aboard a huge reusable rocket.
Commentary from Media Underground
How exactly is it that SpaceX can do everything so cheaply? Well, it would seem from this recent interview with Elon Musk that there are a couple of reasons in particular. The first being that there’s a tendency for big aerospace companies to outsource everything to subcontractors who then, bizarrely, outsource work to other subcontractors who subsequently – in what seems to be little more than an utter bureaucratic shambles by this point – outsource to other subcontractors and so on and so forth… ad nauseum. As one commenter aptly points out at the foot of this Wired article: “One reason for all that expensively administered subcontracting is that it pleases exactly those committees [who control NASA’s funding]. The large projects they favor can subcontract in many different districts, whose congressmen then have a good reason to vote for NASA’s budget. This means the committee members need not trade away any more of their political capital to get the projects that support contractors in their districts.”
In short, SpaceX don’t engage in this subcontracting farce but do it all themselves from the bottom up.… Read the rest
Aside from the news that the United States’ space program has effectively been privatized in the wake of the retirement of the Space Transportation System (Shuttle) program, this noteworthy craft was carrying the ashes of over 300 people. That’s $2,995 per gram of ashes into Earth orbit. As Clara Moskowitz writes on Space.com:
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Scotty has finally been beamed up. The ashes of the actor James Doohan, who played Scotty on the 1960s television series Star Trek, were launched to space this morning (May 22nd) on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The unmanned Falcon 9 blasted off at 3:44 a.m. EDT (0744 GMT) from here at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, carrying the Dragon capsule filled with cargo bound for the International Space Station. Also packed aboard the rocket was a secondary payload carrying remains from 308 people, including Doohan and Mercury program astronaut Gordon Cooper, according to ABC News and Reuters.
One of these days, bang, zoom, straight to….Mars? SpaceX, a private company based in the California, is hoping to put a man on Mars within a decade or two. From Agence France-Presse via The Raw Story:
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Private US company SpaceX hopes to put an astronaut on Mars within 10 to 20 years, the head of the firm said.
“We’ll probably put a first man in space in about three years,” Elon Musk told the Wall Street Journal Saturday. “We’re going all the way to Mars, I think… best case 10 years, worst case 15 to 20 years.”
SpaceX is one of the two leading private space companies in the United States and has won $75 million from the US space agency NASA to help its pursuit of developing a spacecraft to replace the space shuttle.
The California-based company last year completed its first successful test of an unmanned space capsule into orbit and back.
It sounds like the beginning of a Kurt Vonnegut novel, but the first privately owned spacecraft will make its attempt at breaking through the atmosphere and returning safely. If this trip proves successful, NASA will look towards private funding. The New York Daily News reports:
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The future of the space travel will undergo a crucial test Tuesday when the first privately owned spaceship attempts a launch into orbit.
If it succeeds, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule will then try to reenter the atmosphere – also a first for a nongovernment-owned spacecraft.
The outcome of the launch will play a vital role in determining the direction of U.S. space travel as NASA looks to private companies to fill in the gap as the space shuttle program is put into mothballs next year.