Debut Docking Has Been Conducted Successfully By Crew Dragon With The ISS

For the very first time, a docking and rendezvous to the International Space Station has been successfully conducted by the Crew Dragon of SpaceX, …

For the very first time, a docking and rendezvous to the International Space Station has been successfully conducted by the Crew Dragon of SpaceX, recently, after a successful launch. The docking took place on March 3 at 5:51 AM EST. Dragon was lofted to orbit by a Falcon 9 Block 5 missile from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Centre of NASA in Florida, which is more enormous and longer as compare to its Dragon 1 predecessor. Reportedly, 2 spacecrafts will arrive domestic crew launch capability to the US, one is the crew variant of Dragon 2 and the second is Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner.

A series of 4 test flights will be completed by SpaceX and NASA in order to check whether human can be carried by Crew Dragon or not. As per the sources, Demo-1 is the 2nd out of those 4 flights. To demonstrate nominal end to end performance of Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 is the main motto of Demo-1 after a positive pad abort trial occurred in the year 2015. This comprises signifying the on-orbit operations of communications, avionics, telemetry, electrical and propulsion systems, life support, navigation, guidance, control systems aboard both Dragon and Falcon 9.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX confirmed during a press conference that, the 1st two after-launch signs for Crew Dragon were effectively accomplished shortly separating from second stage of Falcon 9. To effort a self-sufficient docking in orbit, the first ever SpaceX vehicles was Dragon 2. Whereas, cargo resupply missions have been flying by Dragon 1 to the ISS since the year 2012, only manipulated close enough to be dealt by the robotic arm of the station. On the other hand, the robotic arm will not be used by Dragon 2, but the onboard Draco thrusters will rather be used to dock with the stations.

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SpaceX Moon Mission Launch Could Happen In June 2020, Thanks To NASA

The SpaceX Moon mission launch could happen sooner than expected as Elon Musk’s space company is said to be the frontrunner of NASA’s …

The SpaceX Moon mission launch could happen sooner than expected as Elon Musk’s space company is said to be the frontrunner of NASA’s planned Moon exploration.

According to CNBC, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a Senate committee that they are considering the use of commercial rockets for a lunar crew test flight instead of the agency’s SLS spacecraft. The mission is tentatively scheduled for June 2020 and if all goes to plan, SpaceX could potentially win the contract.

“I think we should launch around the moon in June of 2020, and I think it can be done. We need to consider as an agency all options to accomplish that objective. Some of those options would include launching the Orion crew capsule and the European service module on a commercial rocket,” Bridenstine said.

The NASA administrator mentioned that the space agency could consider using two heavy-lift rockets and hinted of the “amazing capability that exists right now” in the U.S. space industry. Bridenstine’s statement could mean two very possible contenders of the mission: United Launch Alliance (ULA) and SpaceX, which are currently the most active private space firms today. Both companies are part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Between the two, however, SpaceX seems to be the most likely choice. SpaceX is fresh from the success of its Crew Dragon capsule demo launch to the International Space Station (ISS) and the spacecraft’s recent return back to Earth without any problems.

SpaceX lead designer Musk’s vision of offering a more cost-effective option for space missions might also bode well for NASA. Currently, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket is priced at $150 million per launch. This is a big difference compared to Boeing and Lockheed Martin’s ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket, which costs roughly $350 million per launch.

There is also the question on whether or not ULA could be ready to do a Moon mission to align with NASA’s 2020 timeline as the company needs at least two to three years to prepare for a launch. In comparison, SpaceX is capable of high volume launches.

“If speed is of the utmost importance, then they may be willing to pay more than SpaceX’s stated price. SpaceX is clearly the front-runner given this time frame,” Chad Anderson, CEO of investment firm Space Angels, said.

Musk and BridenstineElon Musk’s SpaceX could land contract to launch NASA’s moon mission. Pictured: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine (L) speaks with SpaceX chief Elon Musk during a press conference after the launch of SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo mission at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 2, 2019.Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

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Helping out on Crew Dragon

SpaceX is one of several private companies partnering with NASA to get America back in space, which has created the kind of teamwork Smith …

Not everyone grows up to be a rocket scientist, but that’s exactly what Kenneth Smith, 29, of Streetsboro has done.

For several years, he’s worked for NASA and Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, earning a spot on Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list in 2017.

Now, one of the projects that helped earn him a spot on that list has been celebrated as a milestone in space exploration, the March 2 launch of Crew Dragon, which connected autonomously with the International Space Station March 3 and successfully splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean, ending a successful mission.

The capsule, which was unmanned on its flight earlier this month, is designed to accommodate a crew of up to seven astronauts, according to Smith.

“The biggest thing is, it’s going to be the first American orbital space capsule since 2011,” he explained. “The United States hasn’t launched astronauts from American soil since 2011 when the space shuttle Atlantis closed out a 30-year program that folded under the weight of cost, political will and safety concerns.”

Since then, he said, the U.S. has been “hitching rides on a Russian system, Soyuz, operated in Kazakhstan in the middle of the desert, an expensive situation but necessary to keep the International Space Station staffed.”

SpaceX is one of several private companies partnering with NASA to get America back in space, which has created the kind of teamwork Smith believes will mark the future of the space program.

“Now the driving force is making space travel less expensive, and commercial companies are almost competing against each other,” he said, adding the private companies also have a greater tolerance for the kind of productive failure that helps spur development of spacecraft.

Since 2015, Smith said, he’s been working on the development of Crew Dragon, helping to test its flight-worthiness.

“I worked on the loads and dynamic analysis of the vehicle, looking at aerodynamic loads, aeroelastic effects, engine loads and how they would impact the performance and stability of the vehicle,” said Smith.

One of the tests Smith helped run were coupled load analyses, which measure the effect of various factors on the capsule when connected to the rockets, which perform predictably and serve as a control in the tests.

“You’re taking something that is known very well and coupling it with something that is not known,” in this case, the Crew Dragon capsule, said Smith.

In those analyses, the agency would try to replicate, as closely as possible, flight conditions in the capsule while measuring variables such as the weather.

“If you have an unstable mix of air or turbulence, there’s a threshold where we say it’s OK to launch and not OK to launch,” said Smith. Preparing for wind tests, Smith also said he had to design a scale model of the capsule so it could be properly tested.

“I had to take these complex structures and make them a smaller scale for the wind tunnel,” he said. “If I don’t do that model right, then our data could be off.”

Although he’s currently in Streetsboro, Smith said he’s planning to head to Russia in July.

“I will be there for a year working,” he said. “One of the requirements of being an astronaut is learning Russian. I got a fellowship that pays for the language training.”

The Alpha Fellowship includes about 13 people in mid-career from the U.S., Russia, Germany and England to travel and begin preparation to be astronauts.

Leaving in July, Smith said he’s planning to stay in Russia through about April 2020 when he hopes to move to Houston.

Reporter Bob Gaetjens can be reached at 330-541-9440, or @bobgaetjens_rpc.

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Elon Musk: SEC Chaos Might Allow Tesla CEO to Work on Less ‘Boring Projects

There was some great news on Wednesday for The Boring Company though, and evidently, Musk wasn’t going to miss the chance to get his fingers …

If Elon Musk was busy last week, he’s swamped this week. The workaholic Tesla boss has his hands full at the best of times overseeing one of the world’s most valuable car companies (Tesla), a ground-breaking private space exploration enterprise (Space X) and his lesser-known but equally interesting public-transit company (The Boring Company). Telsa has been occupying a lot of media coverage lately, with safety concerns and company layoffs. On Monday his schedule got even more hectic as he was forced to file a response to a worrying SEC complaint which wants to hold him in contempt of Federal Court.

The SEC want to stop him tweeting, and Elon said (roughly speaking) “you can take my titles, but you’ll never take my tweets” citing his first amendment rights. Many political commentators thought this was absolutely the wrong way to go. There was some great news on Wednesday for The Boring Company though, and evidently, Musk wasn’t going to miss the chance to get his fingers tapping,

Looking forward to building a Boring Company tunnel in Vegas. Assuming to be operational by end of year!

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 12, 2019

What Next For Musk When the SEC Dust Settles?

So what happens next? Well if he’s found guilty, he could potentially be banned from tweeting, face a huge fine and/or lose the Tesla CEO position. He has already given up as Chairman, but Chief Executive Office could be a more significant blow to the company. At this point does Musk even care? I would argue possibly not.

Space X Can Help us Reach Another World, But the Boring Company Can Improve This One

Elon Musk is an innovator and a problem solver first and a businessman second. What he excels at is creating groundbreaking products and marketing them in a way that generates an almost religious following. Tesla launched an electric car when no one could make one that looked and performed better than a cereal box. He changed the plug-in vehicle game forever. But now what? Its already worth more than GM and electric cars are becoming the norm rather than the exception, as is development in self-driving technology. Teslas use rubber tires and environmentally expensive battery manufacturing processes.Most of their charging stations use dirty power grids like everyone else.

Even the most ardent supporters have to admit that they are still an environmental negative when charging their Model S, 3 or X. Don’t even think about what we are going to have to do to dispose of the batteries when they are spent in 20 years. You can’t just melt them down like a regular car. Add in the fumes and fuel from Space X-ploration and Musk isn’t looking like the tree-hugger he was accused of being at the beginning of all of this. Enter the Boring Company.

Musk Is First of All a Visionary

Elon Musk loves to be on the cutting edge of innovation and Tesla is the mainstream now. It’s Beverly Hill’s Prius (a little joke for the Los Angelenos there). His biggest goal is he wants to get to Mars, but for sure he wants to keep making a difference on earth too. As a resident of the West-Side of Los Angeles, Musk knows what pain traffic causes in urban areas as much as anyone. Well, the Boring Company seeks to solve these problems by creating a more efficient, speedier and safer public transportation system. In LA everything is so built up over the ground, underground provides a unique opportunity.

This is where Elon can be an environmentalist. He knows that changing car motors to electric doesn’t get the life-shortening particulates out of our cities and that Lithium is a nightmare to procure. The real answer to urban pollution is to get cars off the roads or at least reduce their road time.

tesla stock price, citron researchtesla stock price, citron research

Tesla’s path is clearly plotted, what left is there for Musk to do?| Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP

More Attention Will Improve Boring’s prospects

His incredibly hectic schedule has at times made it seem like The Boring Company was an afterthought, and some struggles with Californian bureaucrats may have dented his enthusiasm. Musk is no stranger to legal obstacles after launching Telsa’s direct to consumer business model, and it is great to see the City of Las Vegas apparently on board with what Boring are trying to do. The proposed loop for the tunnel would help ease congestion and provide transport from the Las Vegas International airport. All for a staggeringly low cost of $35 to $55 million! California can barely build a public toilet for less than $100 million.

Tesla is Fully Evolved, It’s Time to Let Go

Losing the Tesla CEO position might be exactly the jolt Musk needs. Of all his companies, Boring Company needs him the most. A safe pair of hands could push Tesla along at this point. All you need is to avoid scandals and keep coming up with fun updates for the cars. Much like Tim Cook is doing at Apple without Steve Jobs. Musk has laid out enough of a vision for the future of the company with all the planned models that there isn’t much “envisioning” left to do. Boring Company needs a push at this stage; however, as with Urban centers around the world increasingly getting busier, infrastructure is groaning.

Lack of Urban Infrastructure a Major Obstacle to Global Growth

The US Government have so far failed to address this issue meaningfully. With all the talk of the wall and raising taxes and Russia, everyone has forgotten that both sides want to spend money on the US’s crumbling infrastructure. Bi-partisan concessions or agreement seem to be toxic in Washington at the moment, which is a shame as it means this vital project is, once again, left to gather dust on the steps.

Boring by Name, Not By Nature

Look at how the Boring Company came to be created in this quote from Musk on Joe Rogan’s show,

“I have this, it’s sort of a hobby company, called The Boring Company, which started out as a joke, And we decided to make it real and dig a tunnel under LA. And then other people asked us to build tunnels, so we said yes in a few cases.”

Well, what started as a joke might turn out to be pivotal in making the 15-mile, 2-hour commute a thing of the past. It could be Musk’s enduring legacy if he doesn’t get people to Mars.

While I’m thinking about it, someone @ Elon musk or The Boring Company and ask him/them to take over California’s high-speed rail project. Billions could be saved as they wouldn’t need to worry about buying so much land. It could also be more direct as it wouldn’t affect any protected areas. Get digging guys.

Pentagon Wants To Make ‘Space Warriors’

Two companies likely to be part of the bidding are the United Launch Alliance and SpaceX. Both companies won contracts in the previous year.

The Department of Defense will be investing more than $14 billion into the development of the country’s space force.

To help the Air Force build the intended branch, the Department of Defense is requesting $14.1 billion from the fiscal 2020 budget. Additionally, the Air Force also wants $72.4 million to create the Space Force headquarters proposed by President Donald Trump.

The initiative is part of Trump’s directive to the Pentagon to draft legislation that will give birth to the Space Force as part of the Air Force. The plan would be to turn the Space Force as the sixth branch of the military. It has been 72 years since another branch has been established. Around 15,000 personnel will comprise the Space Force initially.

“America must be fully equipped to defend our vital interests. Our adversaries are training forces and developing technology to undermine our security in space, and they’re working very hard at that,” Trump said in February to reporters.

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein echoed a similar thought when he faced the members of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee on March 11. According to Goldfein, the United States needs to defend what it has in space because everyone depends on it and it would be there for some time.

“Space has been a benign domain, and so we have a lot of efforts going forward in the Air Force to make sure we are developing the cadre of space warriors to be able to do what the nation requires us to do,” he added.

Pentagon’s $14.1 billion request will be used to boost missile warning systems, satellites and other national security programs. Around $1.6 billion of the fund will also be used to enhance space-based missile warning capabilities. The Pentagon also seeks to put $1.7 billion specifically on rockets for national security space launches. Two companies likely to be part of the bidding are the United Launch Alliance and SpaceX. Both companies won contracts in the previous year.

The news comes after the success of the Crew Dragon’s mission to dock at the International Space Station. The milestone could mean that Elon Musk’s SpaceX will soon be able to allow NASA to launch American astronauts from American soil. Vadim Lukashevich, a Russian-based space expert, said the spacecraft Musk built is the ship of the future. He also noted that Musk might have shown Roscosmos who’s who. Russia has always been one of the leading threats that the United States has cited in the recent years.

US Air Force The new space force will be part of the U.S. Air Force. Pictured: Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein brief the media on the state of the Air Force and the situation with Texas Church shooter Devin Kelley, at the Pentagon on November 9, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia.Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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