Go Away, Gravity! – The Ventures of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch photo by U.S. Air Force.

Elon Musk has a net worth of $11.9 billion while Richard Branson has a net worth of $4.8 billion. If they stacked their respective fortunes in $1 bills atop each other, the tower would reach six million miles, almost 25 times the distance between the earth and the moon. And that is, in a metaphorical way, exactly what the two plan to do. Continue reading

AstroBlog Follow Friday & Weekly Stumbles For 2012-07-13

Solar Flare: Another M-Class Flare from Sunspot 1515

Active Region 1515 has now spit out 12 M-class flares since July 3. Early in the morning of July 5, 2012 there was an M6.1 flare. It peaked at 7:44 AM EDT. This caused a moderate — classified as R2 on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s space weather scale — radio blackout that has since subsided. Continue reading