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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Scouting for Potential Mars Landing Sites

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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Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. Wikimedia Commons

Elon Musk is serious about colonizing Mars and his aerospace company SpaceX has requested NASA to provide it with potential landing sites on the Red Planet.

SpaceX’s HiRise images indicate it is interested in the Arcadia region of Mars, which has both volcanoes and large open plains.

SpaceX is currently building two orbital prototypes and just completed a successful short jump of its Starhopper prototype as a test of its Raptor engine, reports CNET.

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

In an interview with Axios, Musk said that that there is “70 per cent chance that he will go to Mars”, despite a “good chance” of him not surviving either on the way or after landing.

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.

Elon Musk, tesla, tunnel
AI could be first ‘resident’ of Mars, hints Musk. (Wikimedia Commons)

Musk then floated a new theory, without abandoning the nuking Mars idea.

“Might make sense to have thousands of solar reflector satellites to warm Mars vs artificial suns (tbd),” he tweeted.

“Nuke Mars refers to a continuous stream of very low fallout nuclear fusion explosions above the atmosphere to create artificial suns. Much like our sun, this would not cause Mars to become radioactive,” he added.

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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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.

Companies such as SpaceX and scientific bodies around the world have been working towards inventing technologies to allow humans to venture beyond Earth’s moon but it could still take a decade or more before that is attempted. (IANS)

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NASA Joins Hands with ISRO to Track Vikram ‘Calling Home’

The IMAGE satellite was launched by NASA in 2000 and lost contact after five years

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University of Iowa, Radiation, Sun
FILE - Tourists take pictures of a NASA sign at the Kennedy Space Center visitors complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 14, 2010. VOA

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is continuing its attempt to reach out to India’s moon lander sending communication signals with its Deep Space Network (DSN), said officials.

It is also reported the American space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is sending radio signals to Vikram.

“Attempts are being made to reestablish communication links with the moon lander Vikram. The attempts will be made till September 20-21 when the sunlight will be there in the area where the Vikram has landed,” an ISRO official preferring anonymity told IANS.

The ISRO is trying to establish link with Vikram with its Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu near Bengaluru.

India, Moon, Mission
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman Kailasavadivoo Sivan displays a model of Chanrayaan 2 orbiter and rover during a press conference at their headquarters in Bangalore, India, Aug. 20, 2019. VOA

Scott Tilley, an amateur astronomer who found American weather satellite IMAGE in 2018 that was considered to be lost, on September 10, tweeted: “#DSN 24 beams 12KW of RF at the #Moon in hopes of stimulating #Chandrayaan2’s lander #VikramLander into communicating with home.

“Here’s a eerie recording of the searcher’s signal reflected off the Moon and back to Earth via EME (Earth Moon Earth) on 2103.7MHz.”

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“Meanwhile the DSN24 continues emitting its beacon in hopes #VikramLander will respond…A Good Night all!” he said in a recent tweet.

The IMAGE satellite was launched by NASA in 2000 and lost contact after five years. (IANS)