Sunday, January 15, 2017

Reaching for Mars

It is a national disaster that a person of historical importance is driven out and across the seas to another nation. And thence into Space. But South Africa is a disaster nation. The ANC who gloat still about Mandela and giving the marxist-racist boot to white people have lost whatever place in history they may have tried to grasp with a man like Christian Barnard - you recall he was the first to do a Heart Transplant - and have again proven their incompetence by losing Elon Musk.

And Musk is a man on his way into the history books. 

After several splendid attempts, some failure and much advance his 'Spacex' organisation has made possibly more achiement in the 'Space' bizzo in 10 years than all other nations together in 70 years.  

And last week he passed not just a milestone he set for himself but a pathway for many others to follow down. 

He successfully launched a rocket carrying 10 satellites and recovered the first-stage main rocket on a platform out at sea.

It was a staggering success.

The entrepreneurial young man has gained many accolades along with critics and fans.  He has turned his hand, imagination, business acumen and personal fortune to a number of enterprises, some of which have yet to prove themselves, and some of which are technically brilliant.

This year will make him or break him. My money is on the former.

Let a small boy enthuse before we go on. Who knows.... he may be a Martian Colonist one day.

Wiki says: Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, better known as SpaceX, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California, United States. It was founded in 2002 by Tesla Motors CEO and former PayPal entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of creating the technologies to reduce space transportation costs and 

enable the colonization of Mars.

It has developed the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, both designed to be reusable, and the Dragon spacecraft which is flown into orbit by the Falcon 9 launch vehicle to supply the International Space Station (ISS) with cargo. A manned version of Dragon is in development.

SpaceX's achievements include the first privately funded, liquid-propellant rocket (Falcon 1) to reach orbit, in 2008; the first privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft (Dragon), in 2010; and the first private company to send a spacecraft (Dragon) to the ISS, in 2012.

The launch of SES-8, in 2013, was the first SpaceX delivery into geosynchronous orbit, while the launch of the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), in 2015, was the company's first delivery beyond Earth orbit.

SpaceX began a privately funded reusable launch system technology development program in 2011 and, in December 2015, successfully returned a first stage back to a landing pad near the launch site and accomplished a propulsive vertical landing. 

This was the first such accomplishment by a rocket on an orbital trajectory.

On April 8, 2016, with the launch of CRS-8, SpaceX successfully vertically landed a first stage on an ocean drone-ship landing platform on a mission that also delivered a Dragon space capsule to Low Earth Orbit. On May 6, 2016, SpaceX again landed a first stage, but on a geostationary transfer orbit mission, another first.

NASA awarded the company a Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract in 2006, to design and demonstrate a launch system to resupply cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX, as of July 2016 has flown nine missions to the ISS under a cargo resupply contract. NASA also awarded SpaceX a contract in 2011 to develop and demonstrate a human-rated Dragon as part of its Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program to transport crew to the ISS.

In September 2016, SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk unveiled substantial parts of the launch vehicle, spacecraft, and mission architecture of the Interplanetary Transport System program, an ambitious privately-funded initiative to develop spaceflight technology for use in interplanetary spaceflight, and if demand emerges, could lead to sustainable human settlements on Mars over the very long term.

The race to Mars is on and there is no prize for being the second man on the planet. 

Meanwhile his current achievement has excited small boys, hrad-nosed grown men and a host of men and women in the companies that he owns who have done such a brilliant job.

Small boys can be impressed. Large boys can have just as much wonder.

The really significant aspect is the hardware recovery. Rather than lose the rocket, have it burn up on re-entry or become space junk. Musk wanted to re-use it and so save costs.

He achieved that.

Why at sea? Let a pretty girl explain.

Now, for all who want to see the History being made, and keep a record of those involved, here is a re-run of the 'Live' broadcast. It is an hour of technical wonder at several levels so I shall pull pints for everyone. Oh, and you will have to go to You Tube to see it.

You saw it here in the Tavern as it happened 

(Well, almost).

So, Elon can get things up and down and do it far more cost-effectively than others to date. So when do we go to Mars.

First find $10 billion. That should not be difficult for any nation that can waste a $Trillion or so a year.  America is well experienced at that.



  1. Musk has many issues. Space X is OK just now but the eco-friendly vehicles field is on a knife edge and is kept afloat only by subsidy. Question of time what happens.

    1. Yes, I alluded to critics and some enterprises yet to prove themselves. Disasters and misjudgements abound everywhere.

  2. Yet we small boys can dream, as you say.

  3. Fascinating, what a remarkable man with vision :-)


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The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..