This song will be playing inside the Tesla aboard the Falcon Heavy on it's way to Mars.
Rest in peace David Bowie.....
Good luck SpaceX !
I'm especially hoping it at least makes it off of launch pad 39a so there is no damage to it. I had the pleasure to visit there and see it in person at Kennedy Space Center, among many other facilities including inside mission control where Apollo and many other rockets were launched. I highly recommend it !
Elon Musk's Twitter Feed: "StarMan Roadster's Billion-Year Journey Exceeded Mars Orbit On Way to Asteroid Belt" (WATCH Video)
February 07, 2018
SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced via his Twitter Feed that his cherry-red Tesla Roadster has exceeded Mars and on its way to the Asteroid Belt. This new, iconic satellite of the Sun is hurtling into outer space on an interplanetary trajectory at 12 kilometers per second with David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” pulsing from the radio with the spacesuit-clad “Star Man” dummy in the driver’s seat. The comforting dashboard display reads “Don’t Panic,” the tagline from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Lee Billings at Scientific Anerican notes that it is "neither the first car nor even the first electric model ever launched into space (the Apollo-era lunar rovers take both of those prizes)."
Radiation Will Tear Elon Musk's Rocket Car to Bits in a Year
By Rafi Letzter, Live Science Staff Writer February 7, 2018
A screengrab from the SpaceX live feed shows the Roadster leaving Earth behind. Credit: SpaceX
There's a "midnight cherry" Tesla Roadster hurtling toward deep space right now, the first-ever payload of the Falcon Heavy rocket. It's worth asking why this is happening, and Live Science has. But given that it is happening, it's also worth asking what is going to happen to this electric sportscar condemned to what could be a billion-year elliptical journey through outer space.
The first factor that will determine the Roadster's fate, of course, will be the success or failure of the spacecraft lofting it out of Earth's gravity well.
As Live Science sister site Space.com reported, SpaceX has taken pains to dampen expectations, pointing out the rocket could fail on the launchpad or somewhere in the atmosphere or space. (A few dozen minutes after launch it hasn't failed yet.)
And while Elon Musk is willing to trust his sportscar to the Falcon Heavy, Space.com reported, he's no longer planning to trust it with the liability of human lives. In other words, there's a reasonable chance that the Roadster might meet its end in a quick shower of flames, twisted metal and burnt carbon falling to Earth. [7 Everyday Things That Happen Strangely in Space]
If none of that happens, the next possible fate for the Roadster looks pretty similar, but happens on Mars or somewhere along the way there. As Inverse writer Yasmin Tayag reported, SpaceX has raised the possibility that the car could skim too close to Mars along its orbit and crash into the Red Planet. But what if nothing goes wrong?
What if the rocket works? What if it enters its intended orbit without incident? What if an electric sportscar does end up spending a billion or so years in outer space?
"I'm not so worried about the vacuum itself," said William Carroll, a chemist at Indiana University and expert in plastics and organic molecules.
Human beings tend to experience some pretty grisly effects in vacuum. But that has more to do with our internal pressures no longer getting counteracted by an atmosphere, Carroll said, than any direct effects of the vacuum itself.
Cars just don't have those kinds of internal pressures.
"I might disable the airbag before I send it," Carroll said, "I probably wouldn't fill it with windshield washer fluid."
Deal with that though, along with the pressure in tires, and there isn't much left on the convertible to go pop in a vacuum.
The real forces that will tear the car apart over hundreds of millions of years in space, Carroll said, are solid objects and — most importantly — radiation.
Even if the car avoids any major collisions, over very long time horizons, it's unlikely the vehicle could avoid the kind of collisions with micrometeorites that leave other space junk riddled with craters over time, Carroll said.
But assuming those collisions don't completely tear the car apart, the radiation will.
Down on Earth, a powerful magnetic field and the atmosphere largely protect human beings (and Tesla Roadsters) from the harsh radiation of the sun and cosmic rays. But spacefaring objects have no such protections.
"All of the organics will be subjected to degradation by the various kinds of radiation that you will run into there," Carroll said.
Organics, in this case, doesn't mean the bits of the car that obviously came out of animals, like its leathers and fabrics. Instead, it includes all the plastics in the sportscar and even its carbon-fiber frame.
"[Those materials] are made up largely of carbon-carbon bonds and carbon-hydrogen bonds," Carroll said.
The energy of stellar radiation can cause those bonds to snap. And that can cause the car to fall to bits as effectively as if it were attacked with a knife.
"When you cut something with a knife, in the end, you're cutting some chemical bonds," Carroll said.
A knife cuts those bonds in a straight line. But radiation will split them at random, causing organic materials from the leather seats to the rubber tires to the paints to — given a long enough time span — perhaps even the carbon fiber body to discolor, flake, and splinter away into space.
And under the harsh glare of the unshielded sun, Carroll said, that process could happen fast.
"Those organics, in that environment, I wouldn't give them a year," he said.
Materials with fewer bonds holding them together will disintegrate first, Carroll said. Anything hidden behind an inorganic (no carbon bonds) shield would last longer, though eventually even the plastic woven into the convertible's glass windshields would discolor and come apart. The sturdy carbon-fiber parts would likely be the last to go, he said, over a much longer span of time.
Eventually, the Roadster would likely be reduced to just its well-secured inorganic parts: the aluminum frame, internal metals and any glass parts that don't shatter under meteor impacts. (The idea that glass melts over long time spans is a myth, he said.)
Richard Sachleben, a retired chemist and member of the American Chemical Society's panel of experts, largely agreed with Carroll's assessment in an email to Live Science — though he did suggest it would likely still be somewhat recognizable, at least after a million years.
"A billion years is a long, LONG time," Sachleben wrote, "so no telling what it will be like by then."
Carroll said that the question of whether the rocket remains recognizable also depends on who is around to recognize it.
"Remember our history with tools as a race only goes back about you know two and a half million years," Carroll said, "so what someone would recognize a million years from now if they found is another story altogether."
Sachleben was more optimistic, writing, "there is always the possibility that some future, space-venturing car enthusiast may decide Elon's Roadster would make a nice addition to his/her collection."
See Views of SpaceX's Starman Riding a Tesla Roadster in Space!
By Hanneke Weitering, Space.com Staff Writer February 6, 2018
video moves very slowly...
Update for Feb. 7: SpaceX's live webcast of the Tesla Roadster and its Starman mannequin lasted for just over four hours after the Falcon Heavy's launch on Tuesday, Feb. 6. But you can see that full video stream here in the window above, courtesy of SpaceX. The Roadster and Starman now headed for the asteroid belt. Some lucky stargazers even spotted the Falcon Heavy second stage burn that sent them on their way! Our original story on the video feed, posted just after the launch, appears below.
SpaceX's "Starman" dummy may have launched into space with today's maiden voyage of the Falcon Heavy rocket, but there's no need to say farewell to the lonely passenger just yet. Now you can virtually ride along with him in his cherry-red Tesla Roadster by tuning in to a live webcast beamed to Earth directly from the space car.
Following the launch of the Falcon Heavy, the electric car and its dummy passenger were placed into orbit around the Earth. But in a few hours, the payload will be on its way into a solar orbit that will send it cruising by Mars.[In Photos: SpaceX's 1st Falcon Heavy Rocket Test Launch Success!]
According to Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder and CEO, the car was blasting David Bowie's "Life on Mars" as it travels through the solar system. Musk also named the dummy "Starman" after another song by the late musician.
Clad in SpaceX's new spacesuit, the dummy astronaut is casually drifting in space with his right hand on the steering wheel and left arm resting on the door. Along with great views of "Starman" and his roadster, you can see some spectacular views of Earth in the webcast.
SpaceX's Starman mannequin is seen inside Elon Musk's red Tesla Roadster in space, with the brilliant Earth in frame, in this jaw-dropping view from a camera on the car. SpaceX launched the mannequin and Roadster into space on the first Falcon Heavy test flight on Feb. 6, 2018, then beamed back live views from the car. Credit: SpaceX
SpaceX has not yet said how long the live stream will last, but the Tesla's battery will only last for about 12 hours after liftoff, Musk said in a post-launch briefing at Kennedy Space Center. So the live views from Starman's vehicle should end sometime around 3:45 a.m. EST (0845 GMT) on Wednesday (Feb. 7). As with other SpaceX webcasts, a video recording will likely be available on SpaceX's YouTube page after the live stream ends.
Hah hah hah, oh man how kewl is that? The NASA guys gotta be crappin their pants with envy!! All of those engines had their genesis by Werner von Braun, the German rocket scientist that went to work for Rocketdyne, where later, I met my future wife. She worked in Space Shuttle QA on the SSME engines. The buzz on the street is that all of those Merlin's were derived from designs by ex-Rocketdyne engineers and scientists.
I wonder what that car will go for when somebody nabs it and brings it back for auction? If it actually remains in orbit for a billion years, there'll likely be nothing remaining aside from, possibly, the metals that comprise it, as everything organic...plastic, rubber, nylon, leather, etc, will have deterioted in the extreme, unprotected multi-spectral radiation (including UV) environment. I think Elon Musk plans to bring it back at some juncture. But in any case, it is so kewl. Heh heh heh. :))
"All good things in life are either immoral, illegal, or fattening", Alexander Woolcott (1887-1942)
I was always taught to honor my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
Yup, Flat-Earthers Think the Falcon Heavy Launch Was a Conspiracy
By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor February 7, 2018
A camera shows SpaceX's Starman mannequin and Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster as they fly above a ROUND Earth after launching on the first Falcon Heavy rocket test flight on Feb. 6, 2018. Credit: SpaceX
Yup, Flat-Earthers Think the Falcon Heavy Launch Was a Conspiracy A camera shows SpaceX's Starman mannequin and Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster as they fly above a ROUND Earth after launching on the first Falcon Heavy rocket test flight on Feb. 6, 2018. Credit: SpaceX
Yesterday's successful launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket also sent an unusual payload into space: a cherry-red Tesla Roadster "manned" by a dummy named Starman and equipped with cameras that provided gorgeous views of Earth against the backdrop of space.
But flat-Earthers aren't buying it.
"People who believe that the Earth is a globe because 'they saw a car in space on the Internet' must be the new incarnation of 'It's true, I saw it on TV!' It's a poor argument," tweeted The Flat Earth Society, an organization dedicated to spreading the (incorrect) notion that the Earth is not round. "Why would we believe any privately held company to report the truth?" the organization added.
Trust no one
Flat-Earth conspiracy theorists have a long history of mistrusting the government when it comes to space. On forums devoted to the belief that the Earth is a flat disk, "NASA" often gets mocked as standing for "Never A Straight Answer," and astronauts' attempts to answer the common flat-Earth call of "show me the curve" are regularly dismissed as hoaxes and lies.
Now, Elon Musk's private spaceflight company has apparently joined the ranks of the hoaxers and liars, the flat-Earthers say. On Twitter, flat-Earth accounts posted about "FakeX" and insisted that photos of Starman against a round Earth were Photoshopped. On Starman's live YouTube feed, chatters trolled one another with taunts about how the video proved flat-Earthers wrong, or was part of a vast conspiracy, depending on who was doing the trolling — flat-Earth opponents or believers.
In the thread following The Flat Earth Society's tweet, the person in charge of the feed referred most challengers to the organization's Wiki page, where members posit that the planet is a flat disk with the North Pole at the center and an ice wall (what most people know as Antarctica) skirting the edge. Believe your eyes
It's impossible to say how many people actually believe that the Earth is flat — especially online, where trolls and true believers are difficult to distinguish. The Flat Earth Society lists 555 members, and the organizer of a flat-Earth conference that took place in November 2017 in North Carolina told Live Science that about 500 people attended.
Experts in conspiracy belief say that, despite their strange insistence on ignoring more than 2,000 years of scientific observation, flat-Earth theorists may be fairly similar to believers in other conspiracies: They tend to be drawn to these beliefs out of the sense of control and special knowledge they confer, and the believers tend to like black-and-white versions of the world in which clear "bad guys" try to pull the wool over the eyes of the "good guys."
Some flat-Earth believers are motivated by their interpretations of the Bible as saying the Earth is flat. (The organizer of November's flat-Earth conference is a Christian creationist.) Others simply don't trust anything they can't see with their own eyes. There's a name for this, the Zetetic method,which holds personal sensory experiences above all other forms of information gathering. Starting from this mindset, nothing NASA or Musk releases can be considered trustworthy; only going into space to find the curve with one's own eyes counts.
What happened to the "Center Core" of Falcon Heavy?
By Editorial Board, Feb 07, 2018
Florida - The Falcon Heavy rocket of SpaceX made a successful launch on February 6 from Kennedy Space Center, with a limited edition of Tesla Roadstar as its payload, playing David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ on repeat.
It is now on course to orbit Mars. Falcon Heavy will travel in an elliptical orbit around the Sun on its way toward Mars.
But the live stream made a critical happening heard by everyone watching the live event.
"We lost the center core."
The component of the rocket was supposed to land on a landing pad of its own. But so far it's not clear if it did.
The two side cores of the rocket carried out extremely well-synchronized landings SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2.
But the critical moment and comment heard during the live feed of the event makes us think that the center core didn't settle on the company’s drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean as planned.
SpaceX didn't confirm yet the loss of the core.
Update: Elon Musk said at a conference that the "center core" ran out of fuel, which kept the core from being able to slow down as much as it needed for landing. Because of that, the core hit the water at 300MPH, 100 meters away from the ship.
What happened to the Tesla that Elon Musk shot into space? VIDEO
by Jackie Wattles @jackiewattles February 9, 2018:
There were plenty of spectacular moments during the maiden launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday.
But perhaps the most dramatic scene occurred about four minutes after liftoff: The second stage of the rocket, headed deeper into space, discarded the white nose cone at its tip.
It revealed SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's cherry red sports car. Behind the wheel was a spacesuit-clad mannequin, named Starman. The car glided victoriously away from Earth as David Bowie's "Life on Mars?" blared on SpaceX's launch webcast.
The car is not on some scientific voyage. This was a test launch, so SpaceX needed a dummy payload -- and Musk previously said he wanted it to be the " silliest thing we can imagine." So he picked his own luxurious Tesla roadster.
"I love the thought of a car drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future," he said in December.
Shortly after the launch, SpaceX posted a live feed of Starman's journey. The images looked as if they were plucked from science fiction.
Starman is wearing one of the spacesuits SpaceX developed for its commercial crew partnership with NASA.
"I think it looks so ridiculous and impossible, and you can tell it's real because it looks so fake, honestly," Musk said at a press conference Tuesday. "We have way better CGI (computer-generated imagery)" than that.
The livestream, which was later viewed by millions of people, cut out after about four and a half hours when cameras' batteries died. Onlookers here on Earth moved on with their lives.
But Starman and the Tesla are still out there, and late Tuesday the second-stage engine gave them a final boost, putting them on a path toward orbit around the sun.
More than likely, they will remain drifting through the vacuum of space for generations to come. Astronomers have been hard at work pinning down exactly what path they will take.
At first, Musk suggested on Twitter that the Tesla overshot its intended orbit and would fly out past Mars and into the asteroid belt.
But now experts say that probably won't happen.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory got its hands on data from SpaceX on Wednesday, and it suggests the roadster will stay closer to the sun. The farthest it will go is about 250 million kilometers from the sun, or about as far as Mars.
Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, says he also got a first-hand glimpse at the data and his analysis lines up with NASA's.
The roadster will orbit around the sun in a path that takes it as far as Mars and as close as Earth.
It'll reach its farthest point from the sun in November, and in September 2019, it will complete its first full loop around the sun. It'll continue to complete one full orbit about every 19 months.
That's based on current projections, but things can always change.
"The problem now is that it's kind of difficult to predict how the orbit will evolve," said Marco Langbroek, a space expert who tracks asteroids.
He said forces like solar radiation can slowly bump the roadster toward a different course, or leftover gas in the second-stage rocket could give it another heave.
By next week, astronomers say, the car will already be too far away from Earth to track with telescopes. So they're clamoring to get some good shots of the roadster now.
Because of how the car's projected orbit aligns with Earth's orbit, astronomers on the ground probably won't be able to spot the roadster again until late in the 21st century. Based on calculations he made Thursday, Langbroek predicted that could happen in 2073. But in an email on Friday, he said it still seemed the car's path was "too ill defined to make reliable forecasts."
At that point, "it's certainly possible that it will be mistaken for an asteroid," he said. Astronomers will eventually be able to figure out its a man made object, however, by observing its "orbit and behavior and brightness."
And NASA says the roadster has been added to is "artificial object catalog" in an attempt to prevent this kind of confusion, according to Dwayne Brown, a senior communications official at NASA.
McDowell, half jokingly, predicts astronomers won't have to worry about it at all.
By the late century, he said, he imagines humans will have already colonized other planets in the solar system -- and Musk's "descendants will be able to drag [the roadster] back to a museum."
You may remember that, as a publicity stunt, SpaceX propelled a red Tesla, driven by a dummy in a spacesuit named Starman with the words “DON’T PANIC” written on the control panel, into space using its Falcon Heavy rocket. That car is now a permanent advertisement on the NASA HORIZONS directory of solar system bodies.
Wanna see for yourself? Eric Holthaus over at Grist reported that you can just head over to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s HORIZONS web interface, click “change” next to the target body, type in “SpaceX,” hit enter, then click “Generate ephemeris.”
You’ll find both the details about the Roadster, as well as its ephemeris, or its position in the sky. This is the same system that tracks all the other bodies in the Solar System, including satellites and, you know, Mars.
But the page also reveals a secret: The car also has a Hot Wheels toy model with a mini-Starman inside and a copy of Isaac Asmiov’s Foundation novels on a storage drive. The car is now in an orbit that takes it between .99 and 1.7 astronomical units, where one astronomical unit is approximately the distance between the Earth and the Sun. On average, Mars is 1.5 au from the Sun.
Along with coordinates, there’s a warning: “Prediction errors could increase significantly over time due to unmodeled solar presure [sic], thermal radiation, or outgassing accelerations that are not characterized.”
Who knows, maybe in a few million years a hunk of irradiated metal might collide into the Earth as a mark of mythical hubris from an ancient species. Wouldn’t that be funny?
The Most Interesting Thing Shot into Space This Week Wasn't a Tesla
By Rafi Letzter, Staff Writer February 9, 2018
There was a second payload on board the SpaceX Falcon Heavy that launched Tuesday (Feb. 6), and (unlike the Tesla Roadster) it's built to last 14 billion years.
SpaceX confirmed during its pre-launch livestream that the gadget, called an Arch, is tucked away somewhere inside the red Tesla Roadster now floating through space. It's a simple-looking object: a clear, thick disk of quartz crystal, about an inch across, with lettering across its face. It could almost be a small business award — best car dealership maybe, or top pizza restaurant — except for the data etched microscopically into its body with powerful, high-frequency lasers.
And that data, or at least the future suggested by that data, is what earned the Arch a ride aboard the Roadster.
Pronounced "ark" as in "archive," it's part of a very Silicon Valley plan to — as technology investor, self-described futurist and Arch Mission Foundation co-founder Nova Spivack explained it to Live Science — create "a self-replicating, meta-level process to perpetuate human civilization."
The Foundation picked the quartz discs for this task because they can store a lot of information very compactly, without degrading much at all over long time spans. Each laser-inscribed point on the disc is just 200 nanometers wide (a bit bigger than a single HIV virus), but can encode six bits of information, Spivack said. And as long as the quartz isn't shattered or blasted with intense waves of radiation, those points should be legible to anyone with the technology to view them — even millions (or perhaps billions) of years in the future.
In a phone interview, Spivack explained that the etched quartz is part of a grand plan to seed the solar system with super-durable data-storage devices containing a vast cultural archive of human civilization.
The outside of the disks will have visible symbols on them, Spivack said, "symbols that say, 'Look, this is interesting.'"
Then, future discs will have tiny images etched into them "like microfilm," he said, big enough to be visible with a good microscope. A future observer who discovers those symbols, the Foundation hopes, will take the time to decode the tiny dots, which will contain huge archives of information.
A photo reveals all five Arch discs created so far, including the one now aboard the Tesla Roadster hurtling through space. Credit: Courtesy of the Arch Foundation
Why do this?
"If you look at the history of civilizations, human civilizations do a very good job of wiping themselves out," Spivack said.
And if that happened today, much of the modern cultural record — stored on degradable magnetic disks and drives and tape — would disappear within a century.
The Arch project's stated goal is to act as a kind of insurance against civilizational catastrophe. Create a durable, redundant record, leave it where future human (or alien) civilizations might find it, and our culture's collective knowledge will never die out.
It's a striking idea, at once utopian, space-age and completely fatalistic — appealing enough to a certain kind of imagination that, according to Spivack, Elon Musk agreed to carry the first Arch into space after hearing about it in a casual Twitter exchange.
Spivack insisted that he's not trying to become the author or curator of this distributed monument to modern society.
"The idea here is to send not just one or two or 10 one-off Archs, but to send millions — maybe billions — of them all across the solar system into all kinds of locations," he said.
The foundation wants to build a lunar Arch library, as well as a Mars library, among many others, and to expand beyond quartz storage into other kinds of long-term data records, including DNA.
Still, for the moment at least, Arch technology remains prohibitively expensive. And in that context Spivack reluctantly acknowledges that the foundation will have to play gatekeeper.
"The Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia, Project Gutenberg (e-books), human genomes and other large open-data sets are the priority," he said.
Later, he hopes to offer small chunks of the record to "donors" — people who pay, he estimated, $20 to $100 in return for the right to place some fragment of data into deep posterity. Those funds, he said, will go into an endowment, which he hopes will fund the foundation long term. Eventually, he said, if the endowment grows big enough, the foundation will give archival rights away for free.
Rather than pick and choose what ideas get preserved at that point, he said, the foundation hopes distributing the power of long-term preservation widely enough will create a truly representative portrait of human society that will live on into deep time.
"We're not going to make difficult censorship decisions because, you know, the internet is open and so is the Arch," he said. "We'll include everything, including the bad stuff, because the bad stuff is also important."
So, what's the point of all this effort? Why go through the trouble to write something down for a far-flung future audience that may never arrive — or, Spivack suggested, might be a silica-eating alien race that consumes the Arch disks as food?
Well, it turns out that building the Arch could be pretty lucrative.
"Some of the things that are being developed certainly have commercial potential," Spivack said.
Right now, the best way to send large amounts of information between Earth and space is via radio signals. But there are some hard bandwith limits on radio, thanks to the speed of light and other issues. Even the internet connection on the multi-billion-dollar ISS in low-Earth orbit is only about as fast as a typical home router. That's fine for the data needs of a small crew, but imagine trying to squeeze all the data needs of a Mars city through that connection, with additional delays due to distance and lightspeed.
If/when humans move into space, Spivack thinks dense, lightweight data-storage devices could become more valuable as ways of transporting, say, the contents of the internet between Earth and Mars. And tech like the quartz disks, which he said could one day hold hundreds of terabytes of information, would be perfect for that task.
Already, he said, there are plans to spin off patents from research groups involved in the Arch project into side companies — companies whose intellectual property rights will in turn fund the foundation.
For the moment though, Spivack said he's focused on getting as much data from "the humanities" up into space as possible. (The foundation, he said, assumes that any civilization that could parse the microscopic data-dots on the disks already understands our sciences.)
And as long as the foundation is playing its reluctant (according to Spivack, at least) curator role, they're acting just like you might expect from a group of Silicon Valley techno-futurists: The first Arch disks produced so far, including the one riding through space on that Tesla Roadster, contain Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy.
Exclusive: Watch Elon Musk Freak Out Over the Falcon Heavy Launch
Unique footage shows the SpaceX CEO and his team in mission control in the moments leading up to the historic launch.
By Michael Greshko
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 10, 2018
On February 6, SpaceX made history with the largely successful first launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket—and National Geographic was there, right alongside SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
In preparation for the second season of MARS, which is returning to Nat Geo this fall, a camera crew followed Musk and his team on the day of the launch, capturing their reactions as the rocket rumbled to life.
“xxxx flying x--x, that thing took off,” Musk exclaimed. Moments later, he and SpaceX staffers ran out the door of the launch control center and turned their gazes upward. “Look at that! That's unreal!” Musk cried out.
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite Arrives at Kennedy Space Center for Launch
NASA’s next planet-hunting mission has arrived in Florida to begin preparations for launch. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station nearby NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida no earlier than April 16, pending range approval. TESS was delivered Feb. 12 aboard a truck from Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia, where it spent 2017 being assembled and tested. Over the next month, the spacecraft will be prepped for launch at Kennedy’s Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF).
TESS is the next step in NASA’s search for planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets. The mission will scan nearly the entire sky to monitor more than 200,000 of the nearest and brightest stars in search of transit events — periodic dips in a star’s brightness caused by planets passing in front of their stars. TESS is expected to find thousands of exoplanets. The upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2019, will provide important follow-up observations of some of the most promising TESS-discovered exoplanets, allowing scientists to study their atmospheres and, in some special cases, to search for signs that these planets could support life.
TESS is a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission led and operated by MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Dr. George Ricker of MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research serves as principal investigator for the mission. Additional partners include Orbital ATK, NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Space Telescope Science Institute. More than a dozen universities, research institutes and observatories worldwide are participants in the mission. NASA’s Launch Services Program is responsible for launch management. SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, is the provider of the Falcon 9 launch service.
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite arrives at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where it will undergo final preparations for launch. Launch is scheduled for no earlier than April 16, pending range approval.
casper: I'm back again!!! Maybe this time my computer won't die like it did the last time.
Apr 29, 2018 19:36:04 GMT -6
casper: Skywalker just fixed it. You know what that means. It's doomed.
Apr 29, 2018 19:36:53 GMT -6
skywalker: Very funny, ghost boy
Jun 3, 2018 14:58:58 GMT -6
lois: Casper he should come fix mine. Mine is doomed
Jun 26, 2018 21:54:27 GMT -6
spotless38: Iam back after a long break . What a couple of years I had . After what had happened I lost my brother and had to bury him and then I had caught that type A flue and I was a very sick puppy I also needed blood for the loss of it .
Jul 7, 2018 13:30:41 GMT -6
lois: Very Happy to see you Ron. Missed you. Glad you are doing better now. Sorry for your lost. I did not know your brother had passed. hugs lois
Jul 10, 2018 0:52:45 GMT -6
paulette: Ron - hope you've hit a quiet spot. Sorry for your loss.
Aug 3, 2018 10:49:30 GMT -6
lois: I picked up my phone a few days ago and I looked at the name of the caller. Boy was I surprise. It has been a couple of years. So good to hear your voice Ron. Hope you make it a habit again. love and hugs .
Aug 15, 2018 23:21:38 GMT -6
leia77: Spotless, I am glad that you are feeling better and welcome back! I too am back from a long time away...
Aug 31, 2018 2:08:32 GMT -6
jcurio: I am much relieved to see that you have been on here, Spotless! I hope that things are going much better for you now
Sept 19, 2018 16:46:42 GMT -6
jcurio: And Lois, And Lorelei!
Sept 19, 2018 16:47:07 GMT -6
casper: And Meeeeeee!!
Oct 16, 2018 18:41:31 GMT -6
lois: Sorry guys I cannot see the print. On is tiny hand computer
Oct 21, 2018 20:42:09 GMT -6
lois: Casper your page stops at page five in 2016
Nov 15, 2018 23:54:01 GMT -6
lois: How did your Halloween night go this year?
Nov 15, 2018 23:54:58 GMT -6
skywalker: He posted on the Halloween thread this year.
Nov 25, 2018 18:33:36 GMT -6
lois: Oh ok Sky I will check it out. Thanks.
Dec 21, 2018 21:45:31 GMT -6
lois: What topic was it under.
Dec 21, 2018 21:51:07 GMT -6