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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

21st Century Space Travel Is Here

21st Century Space Travel Is Here

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Tuesday, February 6, 2018/Categories: video, space science, sustainability, art and design, environment, adventure

                               Tesla Roadster with 'Starman' Driving to Mars (credit: SpaceX Corporation )

The successful launch of the SpaceX Corporation's commercial Falcon Heavy rocket, along with the simultaneous landing of its two reusable booster rockets, shows the 21st Century has fully arrived in space exploration. The goal for the new transport vehicle is to carry humans to the Moon and Mars on future missions. Elon Musk and his team of scientists, engineers, and business managers at SpaceX applied 'out of the box' thinking to realize this end result. By investing in creative business strategies, new engineering materials, and applying all the tools of advanced technology and design, the Company has made remarkable progress to their goal. They also demonstrated patience and taking big risks can be rewarding. According to SpaceX, the Falcon Heavy was designed to lift 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)---a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel---by carrying more than twice the payload weight of its closest competitor. Rockets used by NASA for carrying similar heavy payloads typically cost ~$10,000/ton to launch. By adding two reusable boosters to their original rocket design, SpaceX A has reduced this expense to ~$1,000/ton, a 10x decrease in cost-to-launch.

The Falcon Heavy was recorded thundering off the Florida launch-pad at Cape Canaveral and broadcast live in a SpaceX media feed. The rocket carried a Tesla Roadster with a robotic driver, Starman. The vehicle's pod was ejected once beyond the Earth's atmosphere and is now racing towards Mars at 18,000mph. Music by the legendary performance artist David Bowie was a fitting accompaniment to the launch. The simultaneous landing of the two booster rockets could have been a choreographed dance finale.

The era of commercial space exploration has now begun with Elon Musk and his talented teams leading the way. Dreaming big pays off!

WHB

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