Earlier this month Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched Falcon Heavy, the company's most powerful rocket yet. Inside was a red Tesla Roadster sports car with built-in cameras for capturing what it sees as well as a copy of Isaac Asimov's science fiction book series Foundation, and a plane engraved with 6,000 SpaceX employee names. The car's destination: Mars.
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SpaceX has now launched the most powerful spacecraft since the Apollo era – the Falcon Heavy rocket – setting the bar for future space launches. The most important thing about this reusable spacecraft is that it can carry a payload equivalent to sending five double-decker London buses into space – which will be invaluable for future manned space exploration or in sending bigger satellites into orbit. But what about the environmental impact?
Valentina Tereshkova worked at a textile mill as a teenager and began learning to parachute in her early 20s. As the space race between the US and the Soviets hastened, she applied to be an astronaut. On June 16, 1963, she climbed into a tiny capsule that would make her the first woman to ever be launched into space. Then she proclaimed: “Hey sky, take off your hat. I’m on my way!”
What a badass.
Hopefully you never find yourself in a situation where you have to engage with someone who believes in a flat Earth. On the off chance that you do, don't go in unprepared! Here's some hard ammunition you can use to thoroughly debunk them.
While you wait seven years for America's next total solar eclipse, check out the New York Times calendar of astronomical events. Subscribe and never miss another meteor shower, rocket launch, or solstice.
Eating bread in space is a surprisingly dangerous undertaking: the free-floating crumbs could cause someone to choke, lodge themselves in someone's eye, or worst of all, cause a fire if it gets into the electrical panel. That's why most astronauts have to eat the less appealing alternative -- the tortilla.
Donald Trump has a shot at becoming one of the world's most powerful men. We've reached the carbon tipping point for Global Warming on Earth. Pauline Hanson is on the Australian Government's National Broadband Network (NBN) committee. Kind of makes you want to jump on a spaceship and leave this world behind, doesn't it?
Good news! You can sign up to become a citizen of Asgardia, a space-based nation that is currently at the early planning stage. So how would that work out for Australian citizens? Will you lose your citizenship if you want to be a part of Asgardia? Let's find out.
Earlier this week, Elon Musk revealed his plan to make humanity a multi-planetary species by building an express train to Mars. There are a lot of open questions about how this will work, technically speaking, and who will pay for it. But there's another fundamental issue that must be addressed before anybody can reserve a seat on the first spaceship out: Is going to Mars even legal?
If you watched The Martian and wondered if you too could have the chutzpah and know-how to make it on Mars, then here's awesome news: You can now sign up for an actual online course that will teach you the basics to survival if you ever find yourself stranded on the red planet. Best of all, the course is free.