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Elon Musk’s SpaceX wins $2.9 billion contract to develop spacecraft to land astronauts on the moon

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NASA on Friday chose Elon Musk’s SpaceX to build spacecraft that would land astronauts on the moon interestingly since the last Apollo mission.

The award to SpaceX for the “human landing system” was a stunning declaration that marked another major victory for the hard-charging company that vaults it to the top level of the nation’s aerospace companies and solidifies it as one of the space agency’s most trusted partners.

In winning the $2.9 billion contract, SpaceX beat down Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, which had shaped what it called a “national team” by partnering together with aerospace giants Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper. SpaceX also won over Dynetics, a defense contractor for hire situated in Huntsville, Ala. (Bezos possesses The Washington Post.)

NASA had initially picked each of the three companies for the initial phase of the contract, and was required to pick two of them to build the lunar lander. In other significant programs, NASA has picked various providers to encourage competition and to ensure it has redundancy in the event that one can’t convey.

In a report clarifying NASA’s rationale for picking SpaceX acquired by The Washington Post, NASA said it needed “to preserve a competitive environment at this stage of the HLS Program.” But it added that “NASA’s current fiscal year budget did not support even a single [contract] award.” As a result, SpaceX updated its payment schedule so that it now fits “within NASA’s current budget.”

In any case, in pushing forward with SpaceX alone, it communicated something specific that it completely believes the developing organization to fly its space explorers for its unmistakable human exploration program — Artemis, a mission to return space travelers to the moon interestingly since 1972.

“As the first human lunar lander in 50 years, this innovative human landing system will be a hallmark in space exploration history,” Lisa Watson-Morgan, NASA’s lunar lander program manager, said during a news briefing announcing the award. “NASA’s Apollo program captured the world’s attention, demonstrated the power of America’s vision and technology, and can-do spirit. And we expect Artemis will similarly inspire great achievements, innovation and scientific discoveries. We’re confident in NASA’s partnership with SpaceX to help us achieve the Artemis mission.”

In the course of recent years, SpaceX, founded by Musk in 2002 with the objective of in the long run flying people to Mars, has totally overturned the space business, traveling through quick, and now and again searing test crusades that have agitated conventional industry authorities yet additionally touched off new rushes of excitement unheard of since the beginning of the Space Age.

At the point when Musk initially began the organization, even he didn’t figure it would succeed. In 2008, after three practice runs of its Falcon 1 rocket neglected to arrive at circle, he was almost out of cash. Yet, the following test was fruitful, and NASA granted the organization a humble agreement that kept it above water.

In the years since, SpaceX has flown freight and supplies to the International Space Station, and afterward, space explorers, conquering cynics who said human spaceflight ought to never be moved to the private area, and positively not to an organization as green — and reckless — as SpaceX.

In 2015, one of its Falcon 9 rockets detonated on a mission for NASA flying load to the station. Another detonated on the launchpad in front of a motor test in 2016. Also, after Musk smoked pot on a web recording broadcast on the Internet, at that point NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine requested a wellbeing audit of the whole organization.

Be that as it may, regardless of the mishaps, SpaceX has made tremendous progress — flying space travelers securely and overwhelming the dispatch market, while bringing down the expense and significantly expanding the quantity of flights.

For the Artemis program, SpaceX bid its reusable Starship space apparatus, which is being intended to fly huge quantities of individuals into profound space and land on heavenly bodies just as back on Earth.

On Twitter, the company said it is “humbled to help @NASAArtemis usher in a new era of human space exploration.” In a statement, Blue Origin said its “National Team doesn’t have very much information yet. We are looking to learn more about the selection.” Dynetics did not respond to requests for comment.

The organization has been getting its Starship rocket through a high speed test crusade at its office in South Texas, dispatching models with no individuals on board a few miles undetermined, at that point flying them back to an arrival site.

Up until this point, all the test vehicles have crash-arrived in a progression of fireballs that set off examinations directed by the Federal Aviation Administration. In any case, the organization is relied upon to attempt again soon with a test vehicle that Musk has said is furnished with a few overhauls. Furthermore, it desires to have the option to fly the rocket to circle this year.

SpaceX was one of two suppliers recruited by NASA to fly its space travelers to the International Space Station. It flew two missions with space explorers a year ago and its next mission planned to dispatch on Thursday. Boeing, the other organization recruited to ship teams to the station and back, has staggered severely and presently can’t seem to fly a test mission with astronauts.

That experience shows why NASA is best served by having in any event two suppliers on significant projects, authorities said, and the pressing factor will be on SpaceX to perform. As per the report clarifying the choice, SpaceX’s offered “was the lowest among the offerors by a wide margin.” NASA also liked Starship’s ability to ferry a lot of cargo to and from the surface of the moon as well, which it said “has the potential to greatly improve scientific operations.”

While the contract will cover the main human landing, Watson-Morgan said NASA “will also begin work immediately on a follow-up competition” to “provide regularly recurring services to the lunar surface that will enable these crewed missions on sustainable basis.”

The Artemis program started under the organization of previous president Donald Trump however has been embraced by the Biden organization, however the White House is reexamining the course of events. Trump had requested that space travelers land on the moon by 2024, a timetable the White House currently says is under audit as NASA attempts to build up its rockets and space apparatus. It is likewise working with Congress to get the subsidizing it needs.

For this monetary year, Congress appropriated $850 million for the exertion — well shy of the $3.3 billion NASA said it expected to meet the 2024 course of events.

Recently, the Biden administration proposed a $24.7 billion financial plan for NASA, a 6.3 percent increment that incorporated an extra $325 million for the Artemis program.

Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk praised the request and said it “supports the development of capabilities for sustainable, long-duration human exploration beyond Earth, and eventually to Mars.”

Beforehand NASA pledged that it would land a lady on the moon as a component of the primary Artemis lunar landing. Be that as it may, in his assertion, Jurczyk said the office would likewise incorporate the “first person of color” as a feature of the program.

The White House as of late named previous Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) to lead the office. His affirmation hearing is planned for one week from now, and he is relied upon to win affirmation without any problem. During his time in Congress, Nelson was a solid supporter for space investigation, and he flew on the space transport in 1986 as an individual from the House. Whenever affirmed, he has said he would push to get the subsidizing the Artemis program needs, as the office reconsiders the course of events for returning space travelers to the moon.

Additionally on Friday, the White House said it would choose previous NASA space traveler Pamela Melroy, a resigned Air Force colonel, to be the space agency’s deputy administrator.

The agreements for the lunar landers come a year after NASA granted three starting agreements to Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX.

In granting those agreements, NASA said Blue Origin and its group was uttermost along and granted it the biggest agreement, $579 million. Dynetics, which is collaborating with the Sierra Nevada Corp., got $253 million, and SpaceX won $135 million.

The loss is an huge blow Blue Origin, and to Bezos, who has for some time been captivated by the moon and has for quite a long time needed to be essential for the work to return there. He has said that watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stroll on the moon when he was 5 years of age was “an original second” for him.

Blue Origin has been pitching its arrival framework, known as Blue Moon, since 2017, and Bezos has said he would put resources into it intensely himself. In 2019, Bezos said that the program is “so ambitious that it needs to be done with partners. This is the only way to get back to the moon fast. We’re not going back to the moon to visit. We’re going back to the moon to stay.”

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Weird science facts

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Usually, with science homework help you learn some essential facts about life like about forces that work in our world or molecular structure. But it is often very formal and not exciting. What about fun facts that will make science more interesting?

1. Babies have more bones than adults

At birth, babies have approximately 300 bones and cartilage between them. This flexibility allows them to pass through the birth canal, and also allows them to grow quickly. Many bones fuse with age. There are 206 bones in an average adult skeleton.

2. During the summer, the Eiffel Tower can reach 15 cm higher

Thermal expansion is the movement of particles in a substance when it is heated up. This is what is called a thermal expansion. A drop in temperature can cause it to contract. For example, the mercury level in a thermometer will rise and fall as the mercury volume changes with the temperature. This effect is strongest in gases, but it also occurs in liquids and solids like iron. This is why large structures like bridges have expansion joints that allow them to expand and contract without causing damage.

3. The Amazon rainforest produces 20% of Earth’s oxygen

The atmosphere is composed of approximately 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. There are also small amounts of other gases. Most living organisms on Earth require oxygen for survival. They convert it into carbon dioxide when they breathe. Photosynthesis is a way for plants to replenish oxygen levels on the planet. This process converts carbon dioxide and water into energy and releases oxygen as a byproduct. The Amazon rainforest covers 5.5 million km2 (2.1 million sq miles). It absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide and cycles significant quantities of oxygen.

4. Some metals explode when they come in contact with water

Certain metals, such as potassium, sodium and rubidium, oxidize (or tarnish) quickly when exposed to oxygen. Dropping them in water can cause explosions. Chemical stability is a goal for all elements. This means that they must have an outer electron shell. Metals are known to lose electrons in order to achieve this. Alkali metals only have one electron in their outer shell, which makes them extremely eager to pass this unwelcome passenger on to another element through bonding. They form compounds with other elements so easily that they can’t exist in their own right.

5. 6 billion tonnes for a teaspoonful of neutron stars

A neutron star is a remnant of a large star that has run out of fuel. A supernova occurs when a dying star explodes, and its core collapses under gravity to form a super-dense neutron star. The staggeringly large solar masses of galaxies or stars are measured by astronomers in solar masses. This is equivalent to 2 x 1030 kg/4.4 x 1030 lbs. The typical neutron star has a mass up to three solar masses. This is compressed into a sphere of approximately ten kilometers (6.2 miles), which results in some of the most dense matter in the universe.

6. Every year, Hawaii moves 7.5 cm closer to Alaska

The Earth’s crust has been split into huge pieces known as tectonic plates. These plates move in constant motion due to currents in Earth’s upper crust. Hotter, denser rock rises and then cools and sinks. This creates circular convection currents that act as giant conveyor belts that slowly shift the tectonic plates. Hawaii is located in the middle Pacific Plate. It slowly drifts north-west towards the North American Plate and back to Alaska. The speed of the plates is similar to how fast our fingernails grow.

7. Chalk is made of trillions upon trillions of microscopic plankton fossils

Coccolithophores are tiny single-celled algae that have been living in the oceans of Earth for over 200 million years. They surround themselves with tiny plates of calcite (coccoliths), which is unlike any other marine plant. Coccolithophores formed in thick layers on ocean floors, covering them with a white ooze. This was just 100 million years ago. The pressure from the ocean floor pushed the coccoliths into rock. This created chalk deposits like the Dover white cliffs. Coccolithophores is just one example of many prehistoric species that are preserved in fossil form. But how can we determine how old they really are? Rock forms in horizontal layers over time. Older rocks are at the bottom, while younger rocks are near the top. Paleontologists can approximate the age of a fossil by studying the rock from which it is found. Based on radioactive elements like carbon-14, carbon dating gives a more precise estimate of a fossil’s age.

8. It will be too hot to sustain life on Earth in 2.3 billion years

The Sun will get brighter and more intense over the next hundreds of millions of year. Temperatures will rise to the point that our oceans will evaporate in just 2 billion years. This will make it impossible for Earthlings to live. Our planet will soon become a desert like Mars. Scientists predict that Earth will eventually be engulfed by the Sun as it grows into a red giant over the next few billion years.

9. Infrared cameras are almost impossible to detect polar bears

The heat that is lost by a subject can be detected using thermal cameras, but polar bears have mastered the art of conserving heat. A thick layer of blubber beneath the skin keeps bears warm. They can withstand even the coldest Arctic days thanks to their dense fur coat.

10. It takes light 8 minutes and 19 seconds to travel from Earth to Sun

Light travels 300,000 km (186,000 miles per second) in space. It takes a lot of time to cover the 150 million kilometres (93,000,000 miles) between us, the Sun, and this speed. Eight minutes is still a lot compared to the five-and-a-half hours required for the Sun’s light to reach Pluto.

11. The human race could be reduced to the size of a sugar cube if all the space in our atoms was removed

Although the atoms that make up our world appear solid, they are actually 99.99999 percent empty space. An atom is composed of a small, dense nucleus, surrounded by electrons and spread over a large area. Because electrons behave like waves, they are particles as well. The crests and the troughs of these waves are what make electrons exist. Instead of being located in a single point, electrons are distributed over multiple probabilities. This is called an orbital. These electrons occupy huge amounts of space.

12. Stomach acid can dissolve stainless steel

The highly corrosive acid hydrochloric acid, which has a pH between 2 and 3, affects the digestion of food. Your stomach lining is also affected by this acid. It secretes an alkali bicarbonate solution to protect itself. It is necessary to replace the lining every day, and it completely renews itself every four.

13. The Earth is a huge magnet

The Earth’s inner core is made up of a sphere filled with solid iron and surrounded by liquid iron. Temperature and density variations create currents in the iron that in turn produces electrical currents. These currents, paired up by the Earth’s rotation, create a magnetic field that is used worldwide by compass needles.

14. Venus is the only planet that can spin clockwise

Our Solar System began as a swirling cloud made of gas and dust. It eventually became a spinning disc with our Sun at its centre. All the planets orbit the Sun in roughly the same direction because of this common origin. They all also spin in the same direction (counterclockwise, if observed from above), except Uranus & Venus. Uranus spins on its back, while Venus spins in the opposite direction. These planetary anomalies are most likely caused by gigantic asteroids that have thrown them off track in the distant past.

15. A flea can accelerate quicker than the Space Shuttle

Jumping fleas can reach heights of eight centimetres (three in) in one millisecond. Acceleration refers to the change in speed over time. It is often measured in ‘gs. One g equals the acceleration caused on Earth by gravity (9.8m/32.2ft per square second). Fleas can experience 100g while the Space Shuttle was able to reach around 5g. This is due to a rubber-like protein that allows it to store and release energy just like a spring.

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SpaceX dispatches second committed rideshare mission

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SpaceX dispatched 88 satellites on a Falcon 9 June 30 on the organization’s second devoted smallsat rideshare mission.

The Falcon 9 took off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 3:31 p.m. Eastern, more than most of the way into an almost hourlong dispatch window due to climate. A dispatch endeavor the day preceding was cleaned when a private helicopter entered limited airspace minutes before the planned takeoff.

Sending of the payload of 88 satellites began almost 58 minutes after takeoff, when the upper stage played out a second consume of its motor to put it’s anything but a sun-coordinated circle at an elevation of almost 550 kilometers. The satellites, from an assortment of government and business clients, were delivered over 30 minutes.

The mission, named Transporter-2 by SpaceX, was the organization’s second committed smallsat rideshare mission, after the Transporter-1 mission in January. The prior flight conveyed 143 satellites, yet SpaceX said the absolute payload mass for Transporter-2 was more prominent than that of Transporter-1. The organization didn’t uncover explicit payload mass figures for one or the other mission.

The Transporter-2 payload show included manufactured gap radar (SAR) satellites from three contending organizations: Capella, Iceye and Umbra. HawkEye 360 and Kleos, two organizations conveying heavenly bodies to perform radio-recurrence following, each had satellites on this mission, as did PlanetIQ and Spire, which gather GPS radio occultation information for use in climate anticipating.

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SpaceX successfully launches 5th GPS satellite aboard reused rocket for US Space Force

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SpaceX has successfully launched the fifth GPS satellite for the U.S. military.

The GPS III SV05 satellite – nicknamed for NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong – launched on board the 227-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, taking off at 12:09 p.m. ET.

“We have liftoff! The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the latest GPS III satellite has launched!” the Space Force Space and Missiles Systems Center said, retweeting SpaceX’s Twitter video of the moment.

Arrangement of the Lockheed Martin-assembled satellite was affirmed over 90 minutes after the fact.

It is expected to maneuver into a 12,550-mile-high orbit, as indicated by Spaceflight Now, and join the current constellation of satellites.

Three advanced GPS III missions have recently launched on Falcon 9 rockets throughout the most recent few years and Space.com revealed Thursday that the U.S, military intends to dispatch a sum of 10 redesigned GPS satellites to replace some older ones effectively in space.

The next-generation satellites will include “new technology and advanced capabilities” and meet the “needs of the military to mitigate threats” to GPS infrastructure, as indicated by Lockheed Martin.

The aerospace defense organization said that the satellites are the “most powerful GPS satellite ever built,” with multiple times times greater accuracy and up to multiple times expanded enemy of jam insurance.

“GPS III was also intentionally created with a modular design so that new technology and capabilities could be added as technology changes or new mission needs change,” it noted.

The following GPS III mission – likewise contracted to the Elon Musk-founded company – is scheduled for at some point in 2022.

Notwithstanding the satellite, the pre-owned rocket flew a payload for the first time.

It was SpaceX’s 19th mission this year and its 89th successful booster recovery, with Falcon 9’s first stage arriving at around 12:19 p.m. ET on the Just Read the Instructions droneship positioned in the Atlantic Ocean.

In another first, SpaceX’s recovery vessel HOS Briarwood would make its debut to recuperate the payload fairings after they fall back to Earth.

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