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Elon Musk’s company Space X is behind the latest NASA chapter, in which the Dragon Capsule launched by the Falcon 9 rocket will deliver astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley in style (wearing Tesla emblazoned custom-made Space X pressure suits) to the international space station – liftoff is set for today 4:33 pm ET. Next month, Musk will roll out Tesla’s “newest developments in powertrain and battery technology” on what he calls “Battery Day” — but in a brilliant marketing move, no one is sure what is making its debut.
NASA is now largely privatized when it comes to launches and rockets — getting to space. Perhaps that is for the best because outsourcing technology development may indeed be better (cheaper and more advanced) than buying the same thing using the government’s prescriptive purchasing process.
The NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said yesterday, “Our country has been through a lot. But this is a unique moment where all of America can take a moment and look at our country do something stunning again. This is a unique opportunity to bring all of America together in one moment in time and say, ‘Look at how bright the future is.’ That’s what this launch is all about.”
But this has not always been an easy partnership between NASA and Space X — according to Vox, “NASA investigated and scolded him after he smoked pot while appearing on a podcast in 2018.” But if the launch and then the space station run goes off without a hitch, it will be hard to deny the magnitude of Musk’s accomplishment.
The key to EVs is batteries. And Musk understands that. So for a while he has been teasing this battery announcement. He pitched it during Tesla’s Q1 2020 earnings call with investors, saying “Yes. Actually, we don’t want to preempt Battery Day. We want to leave the exciting news for that day, but there will be a lot of exciting news to tell. And I think it would be one of the most exciting days in Tesla’s history and we’re just trying to figure out the right timing for that.” He recently had to push back the rollout by a month, but that does not seem to phase anyone given that it is happening during the pandemic.
NASA announced this week that it would be changing the nicknames of any celestial bodies that are inappropriate such as “Eskimo Nebula” and “Siamese Twins Galaxy,” for example. CNN reported on the decision by the agency to re-examine its use of phrases for planets, galaxies, and other cosmic objects “as part of its commitment to […]
By the end of July, three countries are sending rockets carrying robots to Mars. For the U.S., its old hat — been there, done that 5 times, but for China and the United Arab Emirates, it’s their maiden voyage. Why three launches so close together? Because Mars passes close to the Earth in its orbit, […]
Have you ever wondered what space smells like? Now we know. According to astronauts, it is “a mix of gunpowder, seared steak, raspberries and rum.” Hmmm. CNN reports that the fragrance was invented to help astronauts train for space — so that nothing about it would be surprising to them (seems like that would take […]
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