For decades, orbiters and tiny vehicles have roamed Mars, searching for signs of life. Get the latest scoop from Curiosity, a car-sized Mars rover with an impressive arsenal of scientific tools.
Season Five of Cosmic Vistas journeys into our solar system to experience unparalleled views of the sun, planets, and distant worlds. Cutting-edge scientific thinking and incredible imagery provide a brand new perspective on the cosmos.
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We see NASA is firing up its rockets to go back to the moon again and multiple startups and industries have sprung up in this new race with some huge billionaire giants like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson where all are racing to conquer the new space industry. In this video we will talk about all those big billionaires and what are their plans for the future of our space.
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This time it’s not only the US and the Russia. Several countries and private companies have announced plans for space exploration. This year alone India and China have announced their bids to be space powers with plans of launching missions to to mars and the moon. US has plans for many deep space missions along with Europe and United Arab Emirates, which has recently sent its probe on the red planet. So why has there been such interest in the space recently!! Well it because the space industry is a new gold rush. The economics is making sense and many new industries have formed around space. Already there are space 3d printing companies that have printed on the International space station (ISS). The manufacturing of more efficient fibre optic cables has also become possible in space. Space manufacturing could create many startling new technologies that would lead to industries that don’t even exist today. Extraterrestrial colonisation is a fascination for these billionaires, and space tourism is an exciting field for which many have even paid in advance. NASA had announce its lunar program Artemis “to land the first woman and the next man on the moon” and many private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin are competing to provide their services of commercial payloads for the mission. NASA also plans to land Astronauts on the never visited part of the moon, The South Pole, and give astronauts 6.5 days on the lunar surface. For this NASA turns to private companies and the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, jumped at this opportunity. SpaceX founder Elon Musk successfully launched the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Centre on May 30, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Space tourism seems is also an area which SpaceX and Blue Origin want to accomplish. But there is another player who wants his part in this, Richard Branson and his V*rgin Atlantic. Recently he announced that he has 800 astronauts who have already signed up wanting to go to space.
So let’s discuss the first Billionaire and also the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos and his company Blue Origin. Jeff Bezos has shown his fascination about Space and possibilities of human life in space. The coming couple of years seem to be a busy year for Blue Origin, and American Aerospace manufacturer led by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos founded in the year 2000 the company has a goal of improving space tourism and make it accessible to everyone and even build space colonies for human beings in orbit complete with hotels, amusement parks, restaurants and other infrastructures. His ventures are comparative to that of Richard Branson and Elon Musk who also have put space Exploration as their foremost business interest. Blue Origin is planning for a construction of a warehouse in Florida for building and launching rockets with dreams to reach and find many ways to explore the moon. The company has been invested in developing a vertical takeoff and landing spacecraft called New Shepard, named after the astronaut Alan Shepherd who was the first American to go to space. It is a reusable rocket and will not only make safe takeoff and landing but also will save loads of cost of building and launching new rockets and aims to take passengers into space and have a quick view of the earth and feel the weightlessness and excitement of space. It plans to do so by sending a capsule into the orbit which would hold a maximum of six people which might increase.
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The Mars race to the red planet has long appeared to be exclusive to the biggest billionaires and their corporate backups, but someone else has crossed the white ribbon first. We’ll talk about these folks and more in today’s episode!
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If you’re like me who loves all the news going around about the red planet, you probably would have already heard about the biggest players in the game of getting to Mars first. Of course, first and foremost, there’s the ever popular SpaceX program by Elon Musk. Then we also have Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos.You can really tell that there’s really huge interest in bagging the medal of being the first corporate entity to bring Earth to Mars. I mean, for something to get two of the world’s biggest billionaires? I don’t think they are men who like to waste time on anything they wouldn’t believe have any value whatsoever. Be honest, guys. Who among these two did you place your bets on?
Well, if you did place any money on either of them, then I have bad news for you.
After beginning their 480 million kilometer journey — or, for you Americans watching the show, about 300 million miles — mid July last year, Mars gets visited by not just one, but two unmanned space probes just this February 10th. The first one, arriving at the 9th was United Arab Emirates’ Hope, followed by China’s Tianwen-1 just about a day after.
This amazing feat placed both countries as the fifth and sixth cultures from Earth to successfully be welcomed by our vermillion neighbor. The first four to make it there were, firstly of course, the USA, followed by, India, the old Soviet Union and Europe through the European Space Agency.
Actually, if we include NASA’s Perseverance arriving by the 18th, that puts Elon and Jeff way, way behind. Keep up, boys!
As of the current moment, Hope and Tianwen-1 are already orbiting the Martian atmosphere. A Herculean challenge that they completed with flying colors.
The amazing feat that these two spacecraft accomplished is already super impressive, considering that about half of missions sent to Mars were unsuccessful. You see how many crash-and-burns SpaceX missions had in its lifetime, right?
But, okay, I know that Mars appears to be an extremely popular destination for some of the most important entities and individuals in the world, but these missions did not go there just to have a vacation. Let’s talk about what these probes were sent there to do, shall we? Let’s begin with the first to get there, UAE’s flagship interplanetary mission, Hope…or Al-Amal, as locally known in Arabic.
UAE is not entirely a newbie in terms of sending instruments in space. Officially speaking, Hope is the fourth one in their resume. You can imagine the level of sophistication in the technology that they are bringing, with the history of space missions they have already launched.
Now, let’s move on to the next visitor to our sister planet and potential future home: China’s Tianwen-1. I’d like to talk about the name for a bit before going any further, because I just can’t get over the fact that it is an extremely poetic name.
One translation of the probe’s name is “a quest for the heavenly truth”.
Last but not the least, let’s now talk about the last visitor to Mars, NASA’s Perseverance. Or Percy for short. Pretty cute name, isn’t it?
Following a long line of predecessors, one including the popular names such as Opportunity and Curiosity, this probe is tasked with a mission to know more about the Red Planet. Upon arriving within the vicinity of Mars, it’s scheduled to land on the Jezero Crater.
And did I tell you that Percy didn’t come all by himself? The rover is also carrying Ingenuity, a robotic helicopter that will serve as a part of a handful of tech demonstrations that will be carried out by the rover. The mini helicopter is aimed to determine the feasibility of flight on the red planet. Moreover, Ingenuity will fly over the landing site of Perseverance to help plan its route better, and to look for targets that could be interesting to pick up.
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Every nation right now is racing to make contact with Mars, if not in person, then at least with a robotic spacecraft in preparations for humans to one day land on the red planet.
And I hope you’re all as excited as we are for a new nation joining the quest towards exploring Mars, we’re talking about the United Arab Emirates.
Yes, the United Arab Emirates is going to be the first Arab and gulf region country to send a scientific mission to the red planet on July 20th. How exciting!
China’s Tianwen -1 Mars Mission!
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The motivation for the mission started back in the year 2014, and along six years, the United Arab Emirates Space Agency and its collaborators around the world went into planning the mission and designing its probe, and now, the UAE nation’s dream is finally going to become a reality.
The official name of the mission is “Emirates Mars Mission” and the probe was given the name “Hope Probe” to represent the hope of the Emirati youth and nation to conquer space exploration starting with a mission towards Mars.
Fun fact, the word “Hope” in Arabic is “Amal”, to pronounce it correctly, think of George Clooney’s wife; “Amal Clooney”, it’s literally the same name!
The 200 million dollar mission will be worth every cent, not only for the massive scientific advancements, but also for being the first in the Arab region and the Middle East to push its limits and visit the red planet.
The “Emirates Mars Mission” will not be landing on Mars, it is designed as a probe to orbit the planet and gather information remotely. The probe is very light weight with only 1.35 Kilograms (2.97 pounds) including fuel, and dimensions up to 3 meter x 7.9 meters (9.8 feet x 25.9 feet) and that’s while the solar panels are open.
The probe is equipped with 600 watts solar panels to collect enough power for the equipment on board and a 1.85 meter (72 inch) antenna to communicate back and forth with Earth.
But what exactly will the probe be doing up there orbiting Mars?
The mission goals are aligned with the international goals of “The Mars Exploration Program Advisory Group”; an international group that decides the most important scientific questions to be answered regarding Mars.
The group proposes 4 major scientific goals, the “Emirates Mars Mission” is specially concerned with the second of these goals which is to understand the processes and history of climate on Mars, and more specifically, to study the lower and upper atmosphere of the planet.
These goals are further broken down into 3 scientific objectives:
1. Analysing the lower Martian atmosphere to understand the climate dynamics.
2. Analysing the upper Martian atmosphere to understand the weather changes and the escape of Hydrogen and Oxygen.
3. Identifying why Mars is losing Hydrogen and Oxygen into space.
In satisfying these objectives, the “Hope Probe” will be Mars’ first ever weather satellite; continuously monitoring Mars’ weather during all the seasons from an orbital inclination of 25 degrees and a minimum orbital distance of 20000 kilometers (12.4 thousands miles) to a maximum of 43000 kilometeres (26.7 thousands miles.)
The “Emirates Mars Mission” objectives will be realised by 3 instruments aboard the “Hope Probe”:
The first is the “Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer” or (EMIR) for short, this instrument will study the atmosphere of the red planet in the infrared spectrum of light, and it has a spatial resolution of 100 to 300 kilometers.
The spectrometer will scan Mars’ lower atmosphere to understand the distribution of water vapor and ice water as well as dust, and It will also observe the thermal conditions of Mars’ atmosphere.
The second is the “Emirates Exploration Imager” or (EXI) for short which is a camera that takes 12 megapixel high resolution coloured images of Mars and observes the Martian atmosphere in both the visible and the ultraviolet spectrums of light.
The visible light system has a surface resolution of 4.6 km per pixel when the probe is at the farthest point to the planet and a resolution of 2.2 km per pixel at the nearest point.
The ultraviolet light system on the other hand, has a surface resolution of 4.9 km per pixel at the farthest point, and a resolution of 2.3 km per pixel at the nearest point.
The control and operation of the “Hope Probe” will be a collaborative effort between facilities across the world not only in the United Arab Emirates, let’s start with the launch itself that will entirely be under the control of the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA.)
In recent years, people’s interest in all countries on the planet in space exploration has soared.
Many controversies have been raised regarding whether money should be spent on Space research while there are many problems in our inhabited planet, earth and especially in Humanity. There is poverty, financial issues. And still so much attention into Space exploration. Why?
Join me I show you reasons why Space research is very important.
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We have seen NASA announcing findings in other planets, solar systems and companies such as SpaceX undergo space projects. For instance we have determined the approximate age of the universe, we found water on Mars, we discovered the first exoplanets in 1992, between the years of 2004 and 2005 three new dwarf planets that exist in our solar system came into our attention and so much more.
But many keep on claiming. What is the point in all of this?
In order for a space exploration to happen, much money needs to be spent. For this reason many people seem to raise questions when it comes to space exploration whether money should be spent on space missions while there are many issues that are happening in our planet that we haven’t solved, and need financial support. So instead of exploring space, money should be spent for Earth’s needs.
Some others consider that, since we already visited the moon in 1969, we don’t need space travel anymore. isn’t it enough?
Well, there are many reasons why space exploration is important and I will try to explain my point of you on this topic and why space research is more significant than we think and vital to humanity.
Before we continue with the significance of space exploration, be sure to like or dislike the video so that we can continue improve and make these videos better for you the viewer. Plus, be sure to subscribe to the channel so that you don’t miss any of our weekly videos!
Now let’s start analyzing our topic.
Can you imagine the feeling the astronauts who first landed on the moon must felt looking back at the earth? Breaking through into space travel, leaving earth and defeating gravity, taking steps on the moon?
I bet the feeling would be unique! As they had the opportunity to see earth from a distance and be the first ones to acknowledge it! Imagine being in there position! I think many are jealous that they didn’t live this experience. For them this incident can’t be compared with anything else, and while we didn’t know at this time, this mission advanced our Humanity, and raised the interest on figuring out the Universe! Only goo results can come out of this as we are learning who we are and becoming strong.
But what is the real motive behind exploration. Why do you want to explore and go out of our comfort zone instead of carrying only about what is going on on Earth?
Well, the main reason why moon landing happened in 1969 and, is because humans are driven to explore the unknown, discover new worlds and push the boundaries of the scientific limits. Like it or not, we are by nature explorers who want tο push further and challenge the boundaries of what we already know and we want to learn always something new that can cause a whole new reality. We love exploring the world, travelling abroad visiting other countries and places, collecting memories and experiencing feelings. The same happens on a bigger level by exploring the universe. We are never satisfy and we always want more. People try to achieve these feats for reasons that are not necessarily rational. A few years ago we confirmed the existence of dark matter and we couldn’t do that without space exploration. What is the value of this knowledge? It’s hard to guess today.
And what keeps us going is the fact that we can discover everyday something new and in this way we advance human race. Imagination remains our most powerful attribute and we don’t want to stay stable in only one thing. That is what we do. We always explore. We overcome obstacles not because we have to, but because we want to. We can’t live without progress and curiosity is in our blood.
In this point we need to make clear that exploration isn’t just only about curiosity though, as exploration is necessary for advancement in general. If it wasn’t for the Space exploration we wouldn’t have advanced technologies.
The space research has led us to expand our scientific knowledge and have development of various technologies that improve our lives on Earth and also the economy. The world that we have created today, is the result of several years worth of knowledge, much of which has been built through exploration.
From the goals, to the plans, to the rivals, and more, join me as we ask the question of whether SpaceX can send their starship to the moon!
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13 Mysterious Moon Facts!
When you look at space, there are a lot of things out there that we as humans want to reach. And the first thing that we truly reached and could grasp was the moon itself. On July 20th 1969, after many years of trials, tribulations, setbacks, delays, fears and more, we sent three men into space, and two of them landed on the moon (the third stayed in the craft just for the record, someone had to watch their ride!). It was a triumphant moment in human history. But it was also something that afterwards…lost its luster in terms of repeating the feat.
We did go back to the moon multiple times, but each time it got more and more costly, more and more questioned, until eventually the Apollo program (which was the program to get people to the moon) was outright canceled. Only recently did things start to look better for the program as both NASA and Elon Musk via SpaceX decided to go and inspire the human race to try and get back to the moon in a good amount of time. In fact, it could be that we get to the moon again very soon, even before we reach the long-awaited Mars. Or at least, that’s what Elon Musk thinks:
“Well, this is gonna sound pretty crazy, but I think we could land on the moon in less than two years,” Musk told Time. “Certainly with an uncrewed vehicle I believe we could land on the moon in two years. So then maybe within a year or two of that we could be sending crew. I would say four years at the outside.”
In other words, Musk is saying his conservative estimate for sending people back to the moon aboard a SpaceX vehicle is 2023, the year before NASA hopes to send a crew — including the first female astronaut to visit the moon — as part of its new Artemis program.
You might think that this is a friendly competition thing going on, but it’s a little more complicated than that. You see, Elon Musk started SpaceX with others to try and restore humanities faith in reaching out to the stars, and it’s worked. But more importantly than that, he wanted to make an independent space company that didn’t rely on government funding (like NASA) and thus be able to make spaceships, satellites, and more at a much cheaper cost. Which, again, he succeeded in. This has actually put NASA and SpaceX on great terms, and the two are working together in various ways. Including sending certain SpaceX ships up to the International Space Station, and working together on plans to help get humanity to Mars.
However, NASA has noted recently that they desire to go the moon on their own craft, which of course prompted a response from Elon:
“If it were to take longer to convince NASA and the authorities that we can do it versus just doing it, then we might just do it. It may literally be easier to just land Starship on the moon than try to convince NASA that we can.”
And that right there is one of the cruxes of Elon Musk’s belief in his team and his spaceships. If he thinks he can do something, he’ll push to do it, and he’s been more right than wrong in recent months and years with his programs. His communications satellite system Starlink has started launching and is getting closer to its first minor test in North America. The various starships that he’s making is getting more and more tests, and so on and so forth.
That being said, we all know that Elon Musk can talk more than he can produce at times. A lot of his spaceships in recent months have had issues, including one of his ships trying to launch and creating a massive fireball instead. The ship was fine and it was revealed that a leak in a system caused a fireball, but still, it delayed future plans by a significant margin.
Which is why many aren’t exactly believing that Elon Musk is going to reach the moon in the next few years because of the uncertainty of space travel and all the dangers that can go along with it.
But, that doesn’t mean that NO ONE may be able to reach the moon in the next few years…
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Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon, you know the major website where you likely have bought more things than you care to admit? And throughout his life, he’s had a fascination with space. So much so that it was him who found the Apollo 11 Engines that were jettisoned during the launch of the legendary mission.
But unlike many, he’s not looking to Mars (unlike NASA and SpaceX among others), he feels that humanity has a lot to get from the moon itself.
When NASA’s Perseverance rover travels to Mars to search for signs of life, it’s important that the spacecraft doesn’t bring along any Earth bacteria. That’s why NASA-JPL scientist Moogega Stricker is ensuring that the Mars rover is free and clear of microbial stowaways. So if we ever do find life on Mars, we’ll be sure that it didn’t originate on Earth.
World’s Future Events By 2100!
From what the future will bring, to the events that could change our world forever, join us as we explore what events will happen by 2100!
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What Will Happen By 2090!
I know it’s hard to look at the future and say exactly what’ll happen. If you think about it, we’re in 2020, but if you asked people in 1920 what today would look like? Yeah, their answers would be VASTLY different. Don’t forget that this point in time was supposed to be the “sci-fi” future that a lot of people envisioned (we’re already past Back To The Future for example). So in truth, there is no real way of knowing what’s going to happen between now and 2100. However, there are things that we can predict, try to acknowledge as likely, and see what humanity might just accomplish.
So let’s start off with the very near future. Mainly, 2021. It’s in this year that the James Webb Telescope is expected to launch. So…what is it?
“The James Webb Space Telescope is the most ambitious and complex astronomical project ever built, and bringing it to life is a long, meticulous process.
So basically, the reason that we need this telescope/observatory is because without it, we will be unable to observe a large part of the universe that we can only speculate on right now with the other devices we have. P
. And so in the VERY near future, we could have a greater understanding of our universe. Which is perfect, because also in 2021 we’re allegedly going to get the first “space hotel”.
“We are launching the first-ever affordable luxury space hotel,” said Orion Span founder and CEO Frank Bunger, who unveiled the Aurora Station to the world.
Another thing you can bet on is our desire to go back to the moon, which allegedly is going to happen in 2023. Which would mean that if successful, it would’ve been about 50 years between the current (2023) and last (1976) manned moon mission. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve launched MANY thing to the moon between that time period, but a manned mission to land on the moon? Not so much.
And now…for the event that I’m sure you want to talk about…getting to Mars. SpaceX is leading the charge on this one, as they’re endeavoring to send humans to Mars in the year 2024. Or more accurately, the mission to Mars will START in 2024, and they’ll likely land therein 2025.
The goal of this “first phase” of the mission is simple, he wants to get the people to Mars (call that Step 1) and then see how they’re able to interact on the planet, how well the cargo supplies hold up, and of course, set up the first “home” on the planet.
Elon Musk intends to have a livable base, generators that will run off of various power sources on Mars to ensure they don’t run out of power, and more.
. So obviously SpaceX, NASA and many others are working together to try and suss out all the kinks and possibilities to give this launch and mission one of the smoothest things around.
What we’re also hoping to be smooth is an event going on in 2029, less than a decade from now we’re going to have a close encounter of the asteroid kind. Specifically a rock called 99942 Apophis that was detected all the way back in 2004 and predicted to potentially hit the Earth in 2029. This has since been toned down to saying that it’ll pass by Earth just 20,000 miles above the surface. Which is still REALLY close, but barring something happening, we don’t have to worry about us getting hit.
Halley’s Comet is known as a “short period comet”, as it circles the confines of space, and then arrives back at Earth every 75-76 years. So if you’re lucky, you could see it twice in a lifetime.
Now, in 2069, another very important NASA mission is said to happen, but you can take this one with a grain of salt because of advances in technology happening right now. You see, NASA wants to send a craft to the place known as Alpha Centauri. Alpha Centauri is a place that you may have heard about because it’s a place where it’s said that a very Earth-like planet resides. The problem is that it’s over 4 light years away and in our quickest ship it would take tens of thousands of years to reach there…not fun.
I mentioned, there is a project being made right now that could send things to Alpha Centauri a LOT fast, and it’s set to launch in the next decade or so. Thus, if it works…we could have a look at the system a lot sooner. Time will tell.
From a look to the stars, to the remains of our world, 2095 (based on current calculations) will be a devastating year for Earth because of the fact that we’ll have cut down the entire Amazon Rainforest.
As for 2100, if we reach that point, our population will be over 11 billion (overpopulation)
From its likelihood, to whether SpaceX is the right person for the job, and more, join me as we explore whether SpaceX can get his starship to Mars by 2024!
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The mission to Mars is without a doubt the “mission of the decade”. This is what many groups, including NASA and other international agencies are attempting to create. One of those groups though is a privately funded one called SpaceX. And it’s a team that is truly trying to go and get to Mars within the next few years. But to understand if that’s even possible, you really need to know more about SpaceX itself.
“SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.”
While that may sound very basic, it’s actually quite a complex thing. You see, for all the advances that humanity has made in regards to going into space, the fact of the matter is that it costs a LOT to do that. So much so that the United States main space agency, NASA, was hit with major budget cuts because the attempts they were making to revolutionize space travel just wasn’t working.
Enter Elon Musk, one of the richest men in the world, and a man who truly believes in trying to make space travel not just the future, but the present. He founded SpaceX in 2002 to try and make space travel better, cheaper, more accessible, and beyond, and as the Space X website loves to boast, since 2002, they’ve had quite a few successes:
“SpaceX has gained worldwide attention for a series of historic milestones. It is the only private company capable of returning a spacecraft from low Earth orbit, which it first accomplished in 2010. The company made history again in 2012 when its Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to and from the International Space Station.
SpaceX successfully achieved the historic first reflight of an orbital class rocket in 2017, and the company now regularly launches flight-proven rockets. In 2018, SpaceX began launching Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful operational rocket by a factor of two.”
So as you can see, this is more than just a company, it’s a place with a mission, and that mission is to get humanity into space, onto Mars, and more. And it’s been working REALLY hard to try and get a manned flight into space, and it’s getting closer than you might expect!
Why is that? Because Elon Musk over the last several months and years has been building various spaceships like we noted before, and in recent months, he’s been testing the ones that he believes will send us to the planet Mars, including the line of ships he simply calls the Starship.
The Starship architecture consists of a big spaceship called Starship, which Musk has said will be capable of carrying up to 100 people, and a giant rocket named Super Heavy. Both of these vehicles will be reusable; indeed, rapid and frequent reuse is key to Musk’s overall vision, which involves cutting the cost of spaceflight enough to make Mars colonization and other bold exploration feats economically feasible.
You see, that’s the big problem with going to Mars and trying to set up a home there. It’s easy in concept, we just have to get there, set up a home, make sure it can withstand certain things and self-sustain eventually. But with how things actually work? We’re talking hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of hours trying to figure out all the potential problems that could happen on Mars before we even set foot on it! And of course, since things NEVER go the way we think they will, it’s going to inevitably turn into a thing where we’re trying to make things work on the fly, or have to counter some big issues that no one saw coming.
But if you think that this is stopping Elon Musk from dreaming big and trying to get us to Mars and beyond? You don’t know Elon Musk.
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Musk wrote that the eventual goal is to launch each Starship vehicle three times per day on average. Each Starship will be able to carry about 100 tons of payload to orbit, so, at that flight rate, every vehicle would loft about 100,000 tons annually, he explained.
Now, Musk may sound like he’s just spouting out a number here (and if we’re being honest…he kind of is) but in truth, he is trying to abide by the laws of space and reality. What do we mean by that? Simple, when it comes to the facts of space travel, having the right windows to travel in are essential. Not the least of which is trying to minimize travel time by making sure you are in the correct windows.
Confused? I’ll explain.
From whether we can get to it regularly, to why it would need to be done a certain way, join me as we explore whether we can colonize the moon by 2024( or 2030)To the moon!
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Let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute, shall we? As we begin this brand new decade of life on Earth, there are certain “goals” that every nation is trying to achieve. And for a more “global” goal, the mission is to get to Mars…and then start to colonize it. Trust me when I say that there are a LOT of plans on how to get to Mars in a decent amount of time and to start colonizing it as soon as possible. To the extent that if the plans work, and if everything goes as it should, we could be living on Mars in a certain capacity by the end of the decade.
But for some scientists, they see this as…inefficient to a certain extent. Not the least of which is because Mars is hundreds of millions of miles away from Earth at its closest point (due to the orbits of Earth and Mars not being on the same timeframe), and yet there is something much, MUCH closer to Earth for us to colonize…the moon.
Now sure, Mars has been the focus in recent years because of discoveries of water on Mars, and certain other things that could make it a livable place, but what about the moon? Have we honestly ever thought about colonizing it? Yeah, much more than you might think. In fact there are plans to potentially have it done by 2024, and one time there was even a plan to have it settled by 2022.
So what exactly has stopped us from doing this wonderful thing? Simple, money. Isn’t that always the answer? NASA used to be a very well funded operation, but now, their budget is much more slashed than in previous decades. While we are still aiming to get to Mars, it’s much more of a long term project for NASA, while companies like SpaceX are doing more private and low-cost funding in order to help them get to their goals for the red planet.
Thus, by that token, one cannot have one and the other. Do we colonize Mars, or the moon? Most people have chosen Mars for various reasons, but not all, especially since some people believe they can do it AND Mars within the budget NASA:
“The US could lead a return of humans to the surface of the Moon within a period of 5-7 years from authority to proceed at an estimated total cost of about $10 billion (±30 percent),” conclude NASA’s Alexandra Hall and NextGen Space’s Charles Miller in one of the papers about colonizing the moon.
A bold claim, and one that got many people’s attention. Especially when he explained how a formerly $150 billion dollar spacecraft would now cost $10 billion total for the whole thing. The answer there is that technology has grown a lot since the 70’s:
“The big takeaway,” McKay told Popular Science, “is that new technologies, some of which have nothing to do with space – like self-driving cars and waste-recycling toilets – are going to be incredibly useful in space, and are driving down the cost of a moon base to the point where it might be easy to do.”
In short, since we already have the materials here on Earth to build spacecraft, and people at SpaceX are doing it much cheaper than NASA, there’s no reason to think we can’t go to the moon and set up colonies there all the while doing our thing here on Earth and getting ready for Mars.
Some even think that the need to go to the moon ( lunar surface) is a perfect “prequel” to going to Mars:
“My interest is not the Moon. To me the Moon is as dull as a ball of concrete,” NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay, who edited the special, open-access issue of New Space journal,( use news) told Sarah Fecht over at Popular Science. “But we’re not going to have a research base on Mars until we can learn how to do it on the Moon first. The Moon provides a blueprint to Mars.”
Everything in regards to the moon colony mission is being furthered every day, especially when it comes to things like Blue Origin offering to help get people there.
What is Blue Origin? Well, that would be Jeff Bezos’ (founder of Amazon) personal space company (not unlike what Elon Musk has with SpaceX), and what he is working on is a reusable engine that wouldn’t just send astronauts to the moon, but also send tourists into space. All of which would help make Bezos billions of dollars in contracts from various space agencies since his rockets are currently very advanced. Plus, having reusable rockets saves time from having to build individual ones for each mission. Which obviously can be very costly as well.
Has he actually proven that his rockets work? Yes, actually he has, he has two rockets that he has both in the works and is also testing. One of them is the 59-foot New Shepherd Model. This is the one that he aims to use to put people into space. In May of 2019 he launched and landed one of these powerful rockets without any issue.