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SpaceX to build Mars rockets in Los Angeles

Representational image
Representational image. Pixabay

The Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, which will be used to explore Mars — a goal that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hopes to accomplish by 2022 — will be built in the Port of Los Angeles, media reports said.

According to a report in CNET on Saturday, the LA Board of Harbor Commissioners gave its unanimous approval to permit SpaceX to build the BFR Mars rocket at a new facility on Terminal Island at the Port of Los Angeles.

The rockets will be made in Los Angeles. VOA

The report said the new rocket manufacturing facility would be built on a 19-acre parcel on the mostly artificial island that’s part of the port. The facility would provide employment to as many as 700 people, as per SpaceX.

The reason of building the rocket at the port and not at the company’s inland headquarters in Hawthorne, California, is due to the size of BFR.

Also Read: SpaceX launches Falcon 9 with first broadband internet satellites

BFR would be so large that it would have to be transported on an ocean-going barge to Cape Canaveral, Florida, via the Panama Canal. As per the information provided by Musk, SpaceX’s huge new rocket would be nearly 350 feet tall and span 30 feet in diameter. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Twitter: “This is a vehicle that holds the promise of taking humanity deeper into the cosmos than ever before.”

The project is ambitious. VOA

“And this isn’t just about reaching into the heavens. It’s about creating jobs right here on Earth,” the Mayor added. SpaceX would pay the Port of Los Angeles $1.38 million per year under its lease agreement for the Berth 240 location, Spaceflight Now website reported. IANS

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NASA Launches Podcast That Tracks Lander To Study Mars

The final episode will cover what happens when the team tries to land InSight on the Red Planet

NASA, Hubble, Keplar, asteroids
L'Ralph needs to have many capabilities in a small, light body structure to keep the spacecraft efficient and the mission productive.Flickr

NASA has launched an eight-episode podcast series that follows the InSight mission as the robotic explorer journeys to Mars for a November 26 landing.

The first two episodes of the “On a Mission” series are now available for download, the US space agency said in a statemenet late Tuesday.

The eight-episode series follows the InSight lander as it travels hundreds of millions of miles and attempts to land on Mars on November 26.

“On a Mission” will be the first NASA podcast to track a mission during flight, through interviews with the InSight team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Episode One lays out the odds of reaching the surface safely — fewer than half of Mars missions make it.

NASA, space, red dwarf, hubble
New episodes will be released weekly as InSight gets closer to Mars. Flcikr

“When things go beautifully it looks easy, but it’s really not easy,” said Sue Smrekar, Deputy Principal Investigator for the InSight mission. “Any kind of exploration is just not easy or guaranteed – ever.”

Narrated by host and science journalist Leslie Mullen and InSight team members, each episode blends humour and captivating storytelling to dig into the journey of the lander and the people who have spent years working on it.

New episodes will be released weekly as InSight gets closer to Mars.

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The final episode will cover what happens when the team tries to land InSight on the Red Planet.

If successful, the lander will be the first robotic explorer to study the planet’s “inner space” — its crust, mantle and core — to better understand the early formation of rocky planets in our inner solar system and rocky exoplanets. (IANS)