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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.
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 […]
Using inexpensive tracking technology and a large antenna installed on the International Space Station, a consortium of researchers is hoping to gather a wider range of data than they had using previous tracking technologies, including long migration patterns, allowing them to better understand how climate change and habitat loss impact wildlife.
Why This Matters: In addition to better understanding of wildlife migration and threats, the technology could be used for a range of other goals.
The Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionized modern astronomy by taking scientists and even the space-loving public on an incredible journey of exploration and discovery. The images it sends us are iconic and have given us an eye into the cosmos. And to think it was sent to space decades before the invention of Instagram! Thomas […]
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