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 2012-03-30

Apollo 11 Moon Landing Site Seen in Unprecedented Detail

The clearest view yet of the famous Apollo 11 landing site on the moon was captured by a NASA spacecraft in orbit around our planet’s natural satellite. The agency’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter zeroed in on Mare Tranquillitatis, or the Sea of Tranquility — the place where humans first touched down on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. Continue reading

AstroBlog Follow Friday & Weekly Stumbles For 2011-09-09

The retirement of the space shuttle has sparked a debate about the value of human spaceflight. Some see it as a waste of resources. Robots are better, cheaper alternatives, they say – and robotic missions don’t risk human lives. Others see the ability to fly humans into space as being tied up with national prestige, influence, and soft power. Continue reading