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SpaceX to build Mars rockets in Los Angeles

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Representational image. Pixabay
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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 Discovered Evidence of Life on Mars 40 Years Ago, Then Set It On Fire

Nasa's Viking landers were sent to Mars to search for possible signs of life and study the physical and magnetic properties of the soil and atmosphere

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The Primetime Emmys will be awarded by the ATAS in Los Angeles on September 17.
The Primetime Emmys will be awarded by the ATAS in Los Angeles on September 17. Flickr

It may sound a bit bizarre but a NASA probe may have accidentally destroyed organic molecules found on the surface of Mars more that 40 years ago, according to a report from New Scientist.

The US space agency in June announced that its robot explorer Curiosity found organic molecules in rocks formed three billion years ago — a discovery that could indicate that there was life on the Red Planet at that time.

However, in 1976, NASA’s twin Viking landers conducted the first experiments that searched for organic matter on the Red Planet.

“Because small, carbon-rich meteorites so frequently pelt the Red Planet, scientists have suspected for decades that organics exist on Mars.

“But researchers were stunned in 1976, when NASA sent two Viking landers to Mars to search for organics for the first time and found absolutely none,” the report said late on Wednesday.

“It was just completely unexpected and inconsistent with what we knew,” Chris McKay, Planetary Scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, was quoted as saying.

NASA’s Phoenix lander found perchlorate, a type of salt mainly used for propellants and in making fireworks, on Mars in 2008.

“The discovery of perchlorate reignited scientists’ convictions that the Viking landers could have found organics on Mars,” the report noted.

Mars
Representational Image, Pixabay

Among organic molecules that Curiosity recently found included chlorobenzene.

“This molecule is created when carbon molecules burn with perchlorate, so scientists suspect that it could have been created when the soil samples were burnt during Viking exploration,” said the report.

In a separate study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, a team from LATMOS research centre in France revisited the Viking lander data.

They found that the Viking landers also detected chlorobenzene.

According to Melissa Guzman, a scientist at LATMOS research centre, while the findings are interesting, the chlorobenzene may have come from material carried on the probe from Earth.

But some researchers are convinced.

Also Read: Sharp Intrigue in La Liga

“This paper really seals the deal,” Daniel Glavin, astrobiologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre who was not involved in the study, was quoted as saying.

Nasa’s Viking landers were sent to Mars to search for possible signs of life and study the physical and magnetic properties of the soil and atmosphere.

The probes continued their mission until the final transmission to Earth on November 11, 1982 (Viking 1) and April 11, 1980 (Viking 2). (IANS)