Happy Hump Day to my loyal readers.  I am trying something new today. Your mid-week blog post is a guest post by non other than Pete Foster (bio below). My male readers will be thrilled that I am offering a post about something other than hair blow-outs, manicures, the latest fashion trend and/or sale. This post falls under the category “FUN” because it is fun to mix it up once in a while. Pete is a little obsessed with space and all things space travel.  Let me know what you think about this post.

Happy Wednesday! xoxo- Tanya

SpaceX Rejuvenates US Space Program

Rejoice space enthusiasts!  The US space program lives post Shuttle.  Thanks to Elon Musk, a co-founder of PAY Pal, SpaceX and Tesla and a (legal) immigrant, we have a thriving competitive space launch market, and an alternative to Russia for rocket engines.  SpaceX was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology and enable people to live on other planets.

Space X

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket

The Falcon 9 is the current operational SpaceX launch system.  The Falcon can carry the Dragon resupply ship or cargo as large as a bus weighing up to 15 tons into orbit. This rocket has already successfully launched a good number of commercial satellites into both geostationary and low earth orbits.  It has also had three resupply missions to the International Space Station, and is the only operational resupply ship capable of returning cargo to earth.  SpaceX is well along with its plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 by returning to a soft landing on the ground after it boosts its cargo into orbit.  The target is to cut launch costs for its customers by 2/3.

Space X

SpaceX Dragon Cargo Ship

The Dragon, shown here after returning from a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), is the first privately developed recoverable space vehicle.  SpaceX won and is currently flying Dragon ships under a $1.6 billion contract from NASA for 12 resupply missions to the ISS.  SpaceX and Mr. Musk are developing a manned version of the DRAGON that will ferry 7 crew members to and from the ISS.  SpaceX plans to begin manned flights in 2015.  The manned version of the Dragon will be reusable and capable of powered soft landings either on land or sea.

Space X

SpaceX Falcon Heavy

The next big development for SpaceX is to launch the Falcon Heavy, a heavy lift rocket.  It will be the most powerful rocket in the world and will be able to launch cargo more than twice the weight of the cargo of the Space Shuttle.  SpaceX plans to have the first launch of the Falcon Heavy next year.

With Putin recently stopping delivery of Russian rocket engines to US, SpaceX becomes not only competitive launch supplier, driving down the cost to launch satellites, but takes on an extremely strategic role for the US as a native supplier of launch capability for defense.

All photos – File photos

About Pete Foster

Peter Foster is an avid technologist, engineer and fan of US space operations.  He has over 25 years’ experience as CEO of technology companies, 12 US Patents, has co-authored a book on speech recognition and is an instrument-rated private pilot with over 2500 hours. 
Tanya and Pete Foster

 

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