SpaceX Executes Historic Reuse of 1st Stage Booster Rocket

History was made on Thursday, 3/30/17,  when billionaire/genius/entrepreneur Elon Musk and his company, SpaceX, successfully reused a first stage rocket booster that was part of a prior launch.

Up until this point, when rockets carried up satellites or other payloads into space, the stages of the rocket were deemed disposable as no one knew how to get them back undamaged. The problem with this was that the first stage of the rocket is also the most expensive component. It’s like having to throw away a jumbo jet airplane after just one use.

The technology of SpaceX changes that with the ability to reclaim and reuse the 1st stage. After several successful retrievals of 1st stage components guiding themselves back to a launch pad on Earth via AI/GPS, this was the first time one of them was actually reused on a new flight mission.

This is a game changer marking a significant reduction in space travel costs.

Article can be seen here: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/29/521941656/launch-land-launch-spacex-tries-reusing-its-rocket

 

Video of launch/ 1st stage return:

 

 

 

Science Saturday: Nature + Time Lapse Photography = Awesome!

Two amazing time lapse videos:

Exploding Star

Background:

The star V838 Monocerotis underwent an outburst early in 2002, during which it temporarily increased in brightness to become 600,000 times more luminous than our Sun. Light from this sudden eruption is illuminating the interstellar dust surrounding the star, producing the most spectacular “light echo” in the history of astronomy.

The Hubble Telescope captured images of this event from 2002 – 2006.

More info: http://www.iflscience.com/space/outstanding-time-lapse-stellar-explosion-hubble

Super Storm Cell Formation/Dissolution in Wyoming

Science Saturday

I read up on a few very interesting tech/science articles this week and thought they were good enough to share…

 

1) Google is taking its self-driving cars to the next phase- creating a self-driving car that no longer has a steering wheel or gas pedal:

 

 

Here’s a more detailed demo of the google’s self-driving car in action:

 

This is amazing stuff, and could replace the taxi industry as we know it. Think of the amount of time savings and convenience this would bring. What’s not so amazing is a chunk of the negative comments on this I’ve seen online from people who have trouble thinking outside the box and are unable to see the benefits this will bring. Instead, they complain about computers taking away their “freedom” to drive, computers being untrustworthy/dangerous to have in control, a sign of lazy consumers, cars look ugly, cars don’t look safe, etc…

These complaints are easy to answer-

Instead of taking away “driving freedom”, a self driving car will be a blessing to those who are physically disabled who are unable to drive. The demo video has a blind person using the car. This also applies to the elderly and their loss of driving aptitude. Those who have long commutes will be free to work on other things instead of spending it focused on driving.

Computers being “untrustworthy/dangerous” is a joke. Who would you rather trust to operate a car coming towards you – a computer whose job is to monitor driving and its surrounding environment 100% of the time, or a human who may be distracted with texting, music, talking, day dreaming, drugs, alcohol, make up, shaving, etc..?

Googles’s self drive cars have logged in 100’s of thousands of miles with ZERO accidents- that speaks for itself.

As for the looks and safety of the car model, this is just the first prototype. In time the styles will change to what consumers want. Think of the early car models when they first came out – they didn’t look so impressive either and people made fun of them as well.

 

2) Graphene – the next wonder material.

Graphene is said to be as big to the future of technology and science as the transistor and silicon chip was. It has the potential of making the best computers of today look like the basic add/subtract calculators of yesterday, today’s broadband speeds seem as slow as physical snail mail, hardware and medical devices moving ahead by leaps and bounds into the Star Trek age, etc…

 

 

More on Graphene:

 

 

3) Finally- do you have an extra $35 mill or so lying around burning a hole in your pocket? Do you love Star Trek? Well, your potential “perfect home” is now available on the market: