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Elon Musk-Owned SpaceX Successfully Deploys US GPS Satellite Into Orbit

SpaceX won an initial contract to launch the first GPS 3 satellite in 2016

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Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

Billionaire Elon Musk-owned SpaceX has successfully launched and deployed a powerful next-generation GPS navigation satellite into orbit — making it the company’s first-ever US government-sanctioned national security space mission.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket climbed into orbit on Sunday with the GPS 3 satellite designed to beam higher-power positioning, navigation and timing signals around the world.

It was SpaceX’s fifth attempt following technical and weather delays.

“On Sunday, SpaceX successfully launched the US Air Force’s first Global Positioning System III space vehicle (SV) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida,” the company said in a statement.

The satellite was deployed to its intended orbit approximately one hour and 56 minutes after lift-off.

Due to mission requirements, SpaceX did not attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage after launch.

Elon Musk, tesla, tunnel
Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk. (Wikimedia Commons)

“The most important thing is that we get that rocket up safely and securely and it achieves its mission,” said US Vice President Mike Pence, also Chairman of the US National Space Council.

“I know this bird is going to fly and when it flies, it’s going to make a difference for the security and prosperity of the American people,” CBSNews quoted Pence as saying.

The $529 million GPS 3 satellite is the first of 10 being built by Lockheed Martin.

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The satellite would provide data for use by devices ranging from smartphones to automobiles, commercial aircraft and virtually all sectors of the transportation industry.

“Multiple data streams will enable receivers in aircraft, for example, to compensate for atmospheric effects that might otherwise reduce accuracy,” the report said.

SpaceX won an initial contract to launch the first GPS 3 satellite in 2016. (IANS)

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Elon Musk Aims to Send 10 Lakh People to Mars by Year 2050

Musk has already estimated the cost of having a self-sustaining civilization on the Red Planet which is "between $100 billion and $10 trillion"

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Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk aims to send 10 lakh people to Mars by 2050 and in a series of tweets, has revealed how is he going to achieve the daunting task of colonising the Red Planet and make humans beings ‘multiplanetary’.

Throwing more details about his Starship programme, Musk said the rocket would carry many megatons of cargo per year to the Red Planet to prepare Mars for a human presence by mid-century.

“Megatons per year to orbit are needed for life to become multiplanetary,” he tweeted.

“Starship design goal is 3 flights/day avg rate, so over 1,000 flights/year at over 100 tonnes/flight, so every 10 ships yield 1 megaton per year to orbit,” Musk explained to his 30.7 million followers.

The orbital Starship prototype, designed “SN1” is currently under construction at SpaceX’s Texas facility.

“Building 100 Starships/year gets to 1,000 in 10 years or 100 megatons/year or maybe around 100k people per Earth-Mars orbital sync,” the SpaceX CEO further explained.

That translates to a schedule of once every two years when Earth and Mars are closest to one another.

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SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk, left, speaks during an event. VOA

SpaceX’s goal, according to Musk, is to finally send 10 lakh people to Mars by 2050.

In September last year, SpaceX requested NASA to provide it with potential landing sites on the Red Planet.

SpaceX is building the Starship (formerly known as the BFR), a fully reusable vehicle designed to take humans and supplies to Mars.

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Musk earlier floated the idea that making Mars warmer would be crucial for making it habitable for humans and one way of doing it would be launching thermonuclear weapons in order to create tiny “suns” over the regions.

The idea is to convert any frozen carbon dioxide into gas, thereby engineering a greenhouse gas.

Musk has already estimated the cost of having a self-sustaining civilization on the Red Planet which is “between $100 billion and $10 trillion”.

He arrived at the figure after estimating the approximate future cost of sending a minimum payload to Mars “to nearest order of magnitude”, at $100,000 per tonne. So if building a self-sustaining city on Mars requires a million tonnes of cargo, the cost would be around $100 billion, Musk calculated. (IANS)