SpaceX says it will send someone around the Moon on its future monster rocket - Canadanewsmedia
Connect with us

Science

SpaceX says it will send someone around the Moon on its future monster rocket

Published

on


SpaceX has signed its first customer to fly on the company’s huge new rocket, the BFR, the company says. The passenger will fly on the monster ship around the Moon, though there are no details yet regarding when the trip will happen. SpaceX says it will announce who is flying — and why — on Monday, September 17th.

The BFR, or the Big Falcon Rocket, is the giant rocket that SpaceX is currently developing to send humans to the Moon and Mars. The BFR design, presented by CEO Elon Musk last year, consists of a combined rocket and spaceship, called the BFS for Big Falcon Spaceship. The main rocket will have 31 main Raptor engines and be capable of sending up 150 tons to low Earth orbit, according to that presentation.

In February 2017, SpaceX announced plans to send two passengers around the Moon on the company’s Falcon Heavy rocket, claiming that the flight would happen at the end of 2018. SpaceX never named the passengers, and, ultimately, Musk admitted during the inaugural flight of the Falcon Heavy that the trip probably wasn’t going to happen. “We’re sort of debating whether to do that on Falcon Heavy or BFR,” Musk told The Verge before the launch in February of this year. “It will sort of depend on how well BFR development is going as to whether we focus on BFR for deep-space human flight or whether we do that on Falcon Heavy.”

It’s unclear if this new passenger being announced is one of the two original passengers from the Falcon Heavy flight or a new customer altogether. Musk hinted on Twitter that the customer might be from Japan. SpaceX says it will give more details on Monday, and the company has set up a live stream for the announcement.

Musk gave a detailed presentation about the design for the BFR last September during the annual International Astronautical Congress. The presentation called for a slimmed-down version of the vehicle, using 31 main engines, compared to the version Musk had pitched the year before, which would have had 42. However, Musk confirmed on Twitter that the rendering of the BFR posted by SpaceX for the announcement was a new version of the vehicle.

Both the BFR and BFS are reusable and designed to use their engines to lower themselves to the ground, much like how the Falcon 9s land. Musk envisions using the BFR for setting up a Moon base on the lunar surface, as well as starting a human settlement on the surface of Mars. However, Musk also noted that the BFR could be used to launch satellites, and he even proposed the idea of using the vehicle to do point-to-point travel. Conceivably, passengers on Earth could ride the rocket to distant cities, with travel times lasting just 30 minutes for destinations on the other side of the planet.

Musk noted last year that his ultimate goal is to transition SpaceX’s focus from the company’s current line of vehicles — the Falcon 9, the Falcon Heavy, and the Dragon spacecraft — to the BFR. “All our resources will turn toward building BFR,” Musk said last year. “And we believe we can do this with the revenue we receive from launching satellites and servicing the space station.”

It’s still uncertain when the BFR will be complete, though. The company has already started working on the rocket near SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, and it also received approval to develop the vehicle at a new facility in the Port of Los Angeles. Additionally, SpaceX has started doing tests on subscale versions of the Raptor engine that will power the BFR. SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell recently said she believes that the BFS will do short hop tests sometime by the end of 2019. These tests will be similar to SpaceX’s initial Grasshopper tests of the Falcon 9, where the rocket climbs to a certain height above Earth and then attempts to land gently back on the ground.

Musk has predicted that the BFR’s first trip to Mars could happen in 2022, which has been considered to be an extremely optimistic goal. The development cost of the BFR is expected to be around $10 billion, and it’s still unclear if SpaceX’s profits will be enough to cover that. Plus, Musk is known for setting unrealistic timelines. The Falcon Heavy was supposed to launch as early as 2013 or 2014, but it didn’t get off the ground until this year. Seeing as how the BFR is a much bigger and more complex vehicle, it seems reasonable that its development will take longer than expected, too.

Update Friday, August 14th, 9AM ET: This article was updated to provide more context on the BFR timeline.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Scientists baffled as 'heat anomaly' BELOW Antarctica melts ice 'twice the size of LONDON'

Published

on

By


SCIENTISTS have been left puzzled after discovering an area of the South Pole melting from heat three kilometres below the surface.

Using a radar, researchers found an area twice the size of Greater London which appeared to be affected.

The team think it could be a combination of unusually radioactive rocks and hot water coming from deep under the ground, but they are stunned as to how it could be possible.

This heat has melted the base and produced water which drains away beneath the ice sheet and pulls the surface down.

“The process of melting we observe has probably been going on for thousands or maybe even millions of years,”  Dr. Tom Jordan from British Antarctic Survey said.

“The process of melting we observe has probably been going on for thousands or maybe even millions of years”

Dr. Tom Jordan

“In the future, the extra water at the ice sheet bed may make this region more sensitive to external factors such as climate change.”

The study used data collected using a BAS aircraft as part of the PolarGAP project.

Founded by the European Space Agency, the international project is used to fill the gap in satellite gravity data.

BAFFLED: Scientists couldn’t believe what they found. (Pic: GETTY)

Dr Jordan added: “This was a really exciting project, exploring one of the last totally un-surveyed regions on our planet. 

“Our results were quite unexpected, as many people thought this region of Antarctica was made of ancient and cold rocks, which had little impact on the ice sheet above. 

“We show that even in the ancient continental interior, the underlying geology can have a significant impact on the ice.”

The discovery comes less than a week after scientists found “long lost continents” below Antarctica.


Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Leonid meteor shower peaks this weekend: How to watch

Published

on

By


The diminutive Comet Tempel-Tuttle will cross Earth’s orbit, creating a vaporizing shower of debris in the atmosphere. The comet takes 33 years to complete one orbit of the sun.
Typically, there are between 10 and 15 meteors per hour. Be sure to check online to see when it will be visible in your part of the world.
The meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Leo, the Lion, as the meteors will be coming from the stars that make up the lion’s mane. But you don’t need to look in the direction of the constellation, because the meteors will appear all across the sky.
The bright meteors can also be colorful, and they’re fast, moving at 44 miles per second — among the fastest meteors. Fireballs and “earthgrazer” meteors are also a hallmark of the Leonid shower. Fireballs are brighter and larger and can last longer than the average meteor, while earthgrazers appear close to the horizon with long, colorful tails.
Unfortunately, this year’s shower won’t produce a meteor storm, which is when you can see upward of 1,000 meteors per hour. Although such an event has been associated with the Leonid meteor shower before, the last storm event happened in 2001.
The best time to see the meteor showers will be between midnight and dawn on both mornings, wherever you are in the world. If you live in an urban area, you may want to drive to a place that isn’t littered with city lights that will obstruct your view.
Find an open area with a wide view of the sky, and don’t forget to bundle up. If you want to photograph the Leonid meteor shower, NASA suggests using a camera with manual focus on a tripod with a shutter release cable or built-in timer, fitted with a wide-angle lens.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Earth's interior is sucking ocean water exceeding the amount it gives back, says a study

Published

on

By


It was well known that the earth drags sea water at trenches but a seismic study reveals that the amount of water dragged is about three times more than previously thought. The phenomenon has major implications for the global water cycle.

The findings showed that the loss of seawater is due to the slow-motion collisions of tectonic plates under Mariana Trench — deepest ocean trench in the world. The trench is where the western Pacific Ocean plate slides beneath the Mariana plate and sinks deep into the Earth’s mantle as the plates slowly converge.

Subduction zones suck in water

“People knew that subduction zones could bring down water, but they didn’t know how much water,” said lead author Chen Cai, from the Washington University in St. Louis.

“This research shows that subduction zones move far more water into Earth’s deep interior, many miles below the surface than previously thought,” added Candace Major, a programme director in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences.

Ocean water seeps into mantle along the fault lines

For the study, published in the journal Nature, the team listened to more than one year’s worth of Earth’s rumblings — from ambient noise to actual earthquakes — using a network of 19 passive, ocean-bottom seismographs deployed across the Mariana Trench, along with seven island-based seismographs.

They found that ocean water atop the plate runs down into the Earth’s crust and upper mantle along the fault lines that lace the area where plates collide and bend. Then it gets trapped.

Under certain temperature and pressure conditions, chemical reactions force the water to get trapped into the rock in the geologic plate as a non-liquid form– hydrous minerals.

Then, the plate continues to crawl ever deeper into Earth’s mantle, bringing the water along with it.

Also read | Luni, the Indian river with saline water that doesn’t drain into any sea or ocean: Facts you need to know

Earth is giving lesser water than it is taking

The seismic images show that the area of hydrated rock at the Mariana Trench extends almost 20 miles or 32.2 km beneath the seafloor, the study showed.

For the Mariana Trench region alone, four times more water subducts than previously calculated.

These features can be extrapolated to predict the conditions under other ocean trenches worldwide. Scientists believe that most of the water that goes down at the trench comes back from the Earth into the atmosphere as water vapour when volcanoes erupt hundreds of miles away.

But with the revised estimates of water, the amount of water going into the earth seems to greatly exceed the amount of water coming out, the researchers noted.

What is a subduction zone?

Tectonic plates can transport both continental crust as well as oceanic crust. The latter is denser than the former and when these two collide, the oceanic crust (denser) sinks into the mantle beneath the oceanic crust (lighter). This forms a subduction zone like trenches.

The deepest trench on Earth is the Mariana trench which lies in the Pacific Ocean and has a depth of 11,034 m.

Also read | Super Earth or exoplanet? This new planet is most likely to support alien life

Also read | New planet twice the size of Earth found revolving around orange dwarf star

Interested in General Knowledge and Current Affairs? Click here to stay informed and know what is happening around the world with our G.K. and Current Affairs section.

To get more updates on Current Affairs, send in your query by mail to education.intoday@gmail.com

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2018 Canada News Media

%d bloggers like this: