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SpaceX Successfully Lands Falcon 9

This was SpaceX's first land landing on the West Coast.

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SpaceX
A used Falcon 9 rocket blasted off on Thursday from Space Launch Complex 4E at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. Wikimedia Commons

Elon Musk-founded private spaceflight company SpaceX on Sunday successfully landed the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on land after delivering an Argentinian earth-observation satellite from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The “SAOCOM 1A” satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after lift-off, SpaceX said.

Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage returned to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, marking the 30th successful landing of a rocket booster for the company.

Moon, spaceX
A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket (VOA)

But this was SpaceX’s first land landing on the West Coast. Its previous West Coast landings had all taken place on the company’s drone ships in the Pacific Ocean.

Operated by Argentina’s Space Agency, the National Commission on Space Activities (CONAE), the satellite carries an active instrument consisting of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which works in the microwave range of the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly the L-band.

Also Read: Elon Musk Says Tesla is Close to Achieving Profitablity

The mission’s main purpose is to gather soil moisture information. (IANS)

Next Story

Self-driving Tesla Robotaxi Coming in 2020, Claims Elon Musk

Uber has shortlisted five countries — India, Japan, Australia, Brazil and France — and a city in one of them will become the first Uber Air City outside of the US

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

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that the electric car maker is ready to fly autonomous robotaxis from 2020.

Making a series of bold predictions during the Tesla Autonomy Day at the Palo Alto-based headquarters late on Monday, Musk said the company expects to get necessary approvals by 2020.

“I feel very confident predicting that there will be autonomous robotaxis from Tesla next year — not in all jurisdictions because we won’t have regulatory approval everywhere,” TechCrunch reported Musk as saying.

“In places where there aren’t enough people to share their cars, Tesla would provide a dedicated fleet of robotaxis,” the report added.

Tesla Founder and CEO hoped that robotaxis would return home and automatically park and recharge.

Tesla also unveiled a new Samsung-made microchip that, the company said, was being included in every new car.

Charging problems with electric car
Tesla cars recharge at a Tesla station at a shopping center in Charlotte, N.C., June 24, 2017. Buyers of Tesla’s luxury models have access to a company-funded Supercharger network. VOA

Musk said that by the middle of 2020, Tesla’s autonomous system will have improved to the point where drivers will not have to pay attention to the road.

“We will have more than one million robotaxis on the road,” Musk said. “A year from now, we’ll have over a million cars with full self-driving, software… everything.”

He said Tesla would soon develop cars that could last for at least one million miles with minimal maintenance.

Taxi hailing company Uber is also planning the next generation of transportation – flying taxis.

Also Read- Microsoft Employees Decry ‘996’ Chinese Work Culture

It has named Dallas and Los Angeles in the US as the first two cities for the commercial launch of its aerial taxi service by 2023 and has been on the lookout to select an international city as its third partner.

Uber has shortlisted five countries — India, Japan, Australia, Brazil and France — and a city in one of them will become the first Uber Air City outside of the US. (IANS)