If you’re lucky when you look up in the sky at night, you might see a shooting star. As you’re making your wish, what you’re actually seeing is a small piece of rock or space junk burning up in the atmosphere. The friction of re-entry causes the shooting star to ignite and burn, which is why you see a brief flash of light.
As space travel evolves, so too will its launch sites. Instead of building stationary launch pads like the ones that NASA and other space agencies have used traditionally, SpaceX is working to convert two floating oil rigs into off-shore launch pads. How is SpaceX turning oil rigs into launch pads?
Who is NASA going to hire to create a vital component for an upcoming Mars mission? None other than the bright minds of our future – college and university students. That's right! NASA's Game Changing Development Program gave college students the chance to come up with unique ideas to generate lift. Sure, that's a fairly simple request, but your ideas will be used on cutting-edge, amazing spacecraft.
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.
Unlike conventional rockets, launch loops can have many launches per hour, independent of weather, and are not inherently polluting. Rockets create pollution such as nitrates in their exhausts due to high exhaust temperature, and can also create greenhouse gases depending on propellant choices. Launch loops require power in the form of electricity and as such it can be clean.