Europe’s New Reusable Rocket Design Borrows Heavily From SpaceX

“To be fair, the European rocket builders have not sought to hide their emulation of SpaceX,” wrote Eric Berger for Ars Technica, pointing out that …

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European rocket manufacturer ArianeGroup and French space agency CNES debuted a reusable rocket design last week called ArianeWorks — and it looks very reminiscent of SpaceX’s Falcon 9.

“To be fair, the European rocket builders have not sought to hide their emulation of SpaceX,” wrote Eric Berger for Ars Technica, pointing out that CNES officials had been very forthcoming about how plans for a hopper vehicle in 2012 were very similar to SpaceX’s work.

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According to the promotional video, the Prometheus engines that powers the new space vehicle features 100 tons of thrust uses a mix of oxygen and methane as fuel — meaning it could make future rocket launches up to ten times cheaper.

The rocket itself will cost an estimated $1.1 million U.S. and will feature 3D printed parts. Plans by the European Space Agency call for the use of the Prometheus rocket for the successor of the Ariane 6 — a non-reusable launcher that costs substantially more.

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SpaceX Wants FCC Approval of 1 Million Satellite Broadband Earth Stations

SpaceX is looking to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a blanket license to operate up to 1 million fixed earth stations for its Starlink …
Photo: Ars Technika/Getty Images

Photo: Ars Technika/Getty Images

SpaceX is looking to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a blanket license to operate up to 1 million fixed earth stations for its Starlink satellite broadband constellation. The application was filed under SpaceX Services, a SpaceX sister company. GeekWire reported on Friday that the application was published by FCC.report.

Last year, SpaceX received FCC approval to launch 7,518 Starlink satellites. Additionally, SpaceX was set to raise $500 million in additional Starlink funding.

SpaceX Targeting Second Falcon Heavy Launch in March

Nearly one year ago, SpaceX made history by becoming the first company to launch a car into space. On February 6, 2018, a cherry-red Tesla …
The Falcon Heavy will be deployed by SpaceX as a means to deliver to orbit a Saudi Arabian communications satellite operated by Arabsat. According to Ars Technica, SpaceX is targeting a March 7 launch date for this mission, but that is subject to change depending on a number of factors.

This second launch of the Falcon Heavy, together with the subsequent landings of the side boosters and core, will mark yet another important step toward achieving the true purpose of the Heavy, a mission to the Moon and possibly Mars.

In terms of size, the Falcon Heavy is close to the biggest rocket ever made by man, the Saturn V – albeit it has a tad smaller payload capacity than the iconic rocket of old – and at the same time the most powerful rocket available today. It can generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, or as much as eighteen 747 aircraft starting their engines at the same time.

Falcon Heavy is comprised of three main cores, each powered by a cluster of nine Merlin engines, the same as the ones deployed on the Falcon 9.

All those engine cores are the so-called Stage 1. The side cores, also known as boosters, are connected with the center core’s liquid oxygen tank. After liftoff, the side boosters separate.

The second stage comprises a Falcon 9-sourced Merlin engine that is be used to deliver payloads into a variety of orbits including low Earth, geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) and geosynchronous orbit (GSO).

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX Sets Layoffs

Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket launching company is cutting 10% of its workforce in a bid to become a leaner operation, according to multiple published …

Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket launching company is cutting 10% of its workforce in a bid to become a leaner operation, according to multiple published reports Friday.

The privately held company founded by Tesla (TSLA) CEO Musk, said in a statement sent to Ars Technica and other news outlets that “to succeed in developing interplanetary spacecraft and a global space-based Internet, SpaceX must become a leaner company.”

The Los Angeles Times reported the company is laying off more than 600 people, while other outlets indicated the company is targeting 10% of its staff. SpaceX employs more than 6,000 people, according to its web site.

SpaceX did not respond to a request for separate confirmation of the layoffs.

In addition to providing cargo services to the international space station, SpaceX is developing the capacity to launch humans into orbit. The United States has had no means of launching crews into space since the termination of the space shuttle program.

SpaceX is also pursuing development of a space-based internet service involving hundreds of low-orbit satellites as well as launch vehicles capable of sending missions to Mars.

“Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations. This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team,” according to the company statement.

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Elon Musk has ‘secret’ school at SpaceX

Tesla and SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has been running a small private school out of the SpaceX headquarters in California, intended for …

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Tesla and SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has been running a small private school out of the SpaceX headquarters in California, intended for students with “extraordinary academic potential.”

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According to a report from ARS Technica, Musk has been running the nonprofit school, known as Ad Astra, in Hawthorne, California, since 2014 for his own five sons, along with the children of select SpaceX employees and others from the area.

The school, which has largely remained out of the public view, is intended to “exceed traditional school metrics on all relevant subject matter through unique project-based learning experiences,” according to a document filed with the Internal Revenue Service, first uncovered by ARS Technica. It serves children between the ages of seven and 14.

In addition to project-based learning, Ad Astra focuses on imbuing attendees with a “strong sense of justice” and the “critical thinking skills necessary to make a difference.”

While the form states that the student body will expand slowly, it will probably never exceed 50 students.

ARS Technica said 400 families applied last year.

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As of 2015 there were only had two individuals employed at the school, it reported to the IRS. Its total revenue was $475,000.

The school has a website, though it doesn’t provide any detail for those who don’t possess a parent login. A contact provided on the website did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment.

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