Space X launches the world’s most powerful rocket, Falcon Heavy

Space X launches Falcon Heavy at Kennedy Space Center
Image Source: SpaceX

On 6th February, around 3.45 pm ET, Space X launched Falcon Heavy, believed to be the world’s most powerful rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was made up of three core stages powered by nine engines each, which when fired up presented a dazzling sight for the onlookers.

“I’m still trying to absorb everything that happened because it’s still kind of surreal to me,” Elon Musk who helms the pioneering rocket firm told reporters after the launch.

Thousands of people gathered to witness the historic launch streamed live by the company that gained over 3 million views. Apart from the rocket’s smooth take off, what made the event truly spectacular was the sight of two of the three Falcon 9 core stages that had aided in propelling the rocket into lower atmosphere, land side by side on the launch pad almost 8 minutes after the launch.  This is part of Space X’s strategy to cut down the cost of launches by reusing recaptured boosters for future launches. The central core stage however crashed into the Atlantic as it ran out of propellant during its descent.

On board the spacecraft is Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster which he intends to launch into an orbit around the sun. In the live video streaming of the car on YouTube, a space-suited mannequin “Starman” could be seen in the driver’s seat with a “DON’T PANIC” sign on the dashboard.

Musk had earlier said that the car would play David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on repeat. The Tesla is a substitute for the typical dummy payloads or mass simulators that new rockets carry on their maiden flights.

Provided Space X can establish Heavy’s reliability, it could prove to be a game changer for the company by drawing in a number of possible customers including NASA.

Sources: Money.CNN, CBS

Andhra Pradesh signs MoU for Hyperloop

The Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Amaravati, the state capital. with Elon Musk backed company, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT).

HTT is US based research firm that is developing the ultra high-speed transportation through a ‘tube modular transport system’ which runs without friction.

The Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (AP-EDB) joined hands with HTT for this project, which will be a PPP (Public- Private Partnership) with most of the funds coming from private investors. But an official release on the MoU did not disclose the probable cost of the project.

HTT will initiate its feasibility study in October this year to analyze the city areas for best routes and to identify the stakeholders between the two cities. After the feasibility test, the second phase will be to initiate the construction of the first Hyperloop project in India.

The proposed project will help in ease of transportation between Vijaywada and Amaravati and cover the distance of 35 km in just five minutes.Even though the Hyperloop project is still in a trial stage in many different countries, this will be first such project in India.

News Source: Livemint, Economic Times

Image Source: NDTV

Elon Musk takes advice of a fifth-grader

Taking advice of a fifth-grader on Twitter, Tesla’s founder Elon Musk announced that Tesla will host homemade advertisement competition.

The letter was sent to Musk online by fifth-grader girl named Bria through her father’s account. She said, “I have noticed that you do not advertise, but many people make homemade commercials for Telsa and some of them are very good. I think that you should run a competition on who can make the best homemade Tesla commercial and the winners will get their commercial aired.” She further suggested that the winners could walk away with either a year of free Supercharging or Tesla’s Model 3 Easter egg.

Tesla company specializes in electric cars, batteries and solar power has been notoriously abstained itself from traditional advertising and commercial approach. Musk’s affirmative reply to Bria’s letter could see Tesla partnering with innovative homemade commercials.

Bria expressed in her letter that she is one of the biggest admirers of Tesla and hopes to become a politician in future in order to save the environment.

Despite the lack of advertising, Tesla has a very strong online presence. The official Tesla Twitter account has 1.3 million followers and its Reddit forum has around 74,000 followers.

News Source: NDTV, Economic Times

Image Source: Reuters

Tourists to fly around the moon in 2018

Talking to reporters on a conference call, Chief Executive of SpaceX, Elon Musk informed the reporters about first privately funded tourist journey around moon by late 2018.

The passengers traveling would be using a spaceship, currently developing for NASA astronauts and yet to be flown heavy-lift rocket.

Elon Musk refused to name the tourists who would be flying and also declined to tell the amount the tourists would be paying for this journey. However, he did confirm that none would be from Hollywood. The tourists’ identities which are kept secret, are known to each other and are undergoing extensive training for the mission.

Musk said, “I think there’s a market for one or two of these per year.” He also estimated that the revenue generated by space tourist could be upto 12 per cent.

The tourists would be flying 480,000 to 640,000 km from Earth, passing the moon and again entering the Earth’s gravitational pull which would pull the spaceship back into the atmosphere of the earth providing for the parachute landing. This trajectory is similar to Apollo 8 mission conducted by NASA IN 1968.

SOURCES-

  1. REUTERS- http://in.reuters.com/article/us-space-spacex-tourists-idINKBN1662HJ
  2. INDIA TODAY-http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/spacex-first-paying-tourists-around-moon-next-year/1/893043.html

A car that’s faster than the gravity

It has been long but not quite long that the world has been venturing into supercars that run on batteries. While the niche segment called as ‘hypercars’ is aimed to provide a close experience to drive a 700 horse-powered monster, it also aims at energy conservation and saving fossil fuels.
Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors has been trying to get a breakthrough to become a front runner in this future segment of cars from quite some time now. Launched in 2012, Model S has been in the talks of the car enthusiasts across the world, and it looks like they finally have what they want.
Tesla’s new update model Ludicrous plus mode or the P100D has become the world’s fastest accelerating car after beating the time of Faraday Future 91. At a neck-snapping 2.389 seconds for 0-100 km, Tesla has beaten its rival by a hundredth of a second. The company also claims that their sport’s version can hit 100 kmph in only 2.1 seconds.At this blistering speed, the car is faster than gravity.
At an insane power of 762 bhp, the car is nothing short of a monster, yet the company has been sensible enough to make it unbelievably Eco-friendly in nature. According to Tesla’s website, the car removes at least 99.97 per cent of the pollutants from the exhaust. The all-wheel drive with two separate motors back and a front is capable of going to a distance of 480 kilometers to 680 kilometers depending upon the speed of the car. The battery takes overnight to charge to run this distance specifically about nine hours, although upgrades are available as add-ons which can bring down the time considerably.
The car has always scored high in the safety ratings since its inception, and Tesla has added it path-breaking auto-pilot mode to its flagship model. There is one more update of adaptive lighting that the customers find very helpful; the car has dynamic LED lights that turn as the road curves.
In a rat race of providing car for the future, Tesla ludicrous plus mode has taken a considerable lead with its new addition; while Faraday is yet to launch its car in 2018 time will tell if Tesla’s claims hold ground or not.
Source: TeslaEngadget and Cnet.com

Elon Musk reveals Tesla’s latest master plan

After teasing about the master plan on Twitter,  Elon Musk, CEO Tesla,  has finally revealed that the company will move towards fully autonomous driving, car sharing and cargo transport, revealed the blog on Tesla website.

The company has said that it will  prioritize heavy duty trucks and high-passenger density urban transport development.

After discreetly changing the website URL from teslamotors.com to now simply tesla.com, it goes to show that Tesla will not remain merely a car company.
Musk also quotes on his website that Tesla’s ultimate ambition is to “accelerate the advent of sustainable energy.”
Musk has also expanded the company guide by explaining a road-map which includes development of a sports car, using profits achieved from that to make an affordable car, using those profits to in turn build a less expensive car and in all of this also provide for zero emission electric power generation options reported the TechCrunch.
Musk also hinted that Tesla would one day, compete with the likes of Uber and Lyft for personal transportation as well. He also explained the SolarCity acquisition in his blog post, for which he was pressurized to reveal the rationale.