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SpaceX’s Colossal Starship Sets Pace in Race to Build Larger Rockets

Bloomberg | Space

SpaceX’s Colossal Starship Sets Pace in Race to Build Larger Rockets

“SpaceX threatens to upend the market with Starship’s audacious size and scale. The company says the rocket, designed to haul more cargo into orbit than any previous vehicle, can carry up to 150,000 kilograms (331,000 pounds) to low-Earth orbit, which could equate to hundreds of satellites in a single launch. Rival craft in development are projected to transport only a small fraction of that payload mass at most. And since Starship is meant to be fully reusable, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell has said there could eventually be multiple launches per day.

Add in the wildly low $10 million-per-flight price tag that SpaceX has advertised for the craft, and Starship could slam shut the already narrow window for rivals to match the economics of Musk’s older rocket.”

From Bloomberg.

Proactive | Space

Intuitive Machines Eyes Second Moon Landing This Year

“Intuitive Machines said it is on track for a second mission to the Moon in the final quarter of 2024.

In February, Intuitive became the first private company to land on the Moon when its unmanned probe touched down on the lunar surface having been carried by a SpaceX rocket.

‘On our second mission, which will be in the last quarter of the year, we are actually installing a 4G network on the surface of the moon,’ founder Kam Ghaffarian said in an interview on Thursday at the Bloomberg Technology Summit in San Francisco.”

From Proactive.

The Guardian | Space

“We’re in a New Era”: The 21st-Century Space Race Takes Off

“The end of the cold war in 1989 brought a brief moment of global optimism, leading to the second, more collaborative space age. The International Space Station was assembled over 13 years and, since 2000, people of multiple nationalities have been living in space constantly, working together on experiments in the orbiting laboratory.

However, this second era also saw a dip in efforts to get humans farther out into space, symbolised by Nasa’s space shuttle programme that never sent people beyond Earth’s orbit and was eventually disbanded in 2011, in large part because the US government did not want to keep bankrolling its high costs. Afterwards, Washington had to rely on Moscow’s Soyuz rockets to get its astronauts into space.

Yet those high costs have now been driven down by private businesses entering the scene, often as government contractors. In the past few years, some of these businesses have started to make money, although not from headline-grabbing reasons such as space tourism but mostly for sending up communication satellites, especially broadband internet. Many estimates suggest the global space industry could generate revenues of more than $1tn within the next two decades.”

From The Guardian.

CNN | Space

Nokia and NASA Are Taking 4G into Space

“Texting on the Moon? Streaming on Mars? It may not be as far away as you think.

That’s the shared vision of NASA and Nokia, who have partnered to set up a cellular network on the Moon to help lay the building blocks for long-term human presence on other planets.

A SpaceX rocket is due to launch this year — the exact date has yet to be confirmed — carrying a simple 4G network to the Moon. The lander will install the system at the Moon’s south pole and then it will be remotely controlled from Earth.”

From CNN.

ABC News | Space

NASA Hears from Voyager 1 after Months of Quiet

“NASA has finally heard back from Voyager 1 again in a way that makes sense.

The most distant spacecraft from Earth stopped sending back understandable data last November. Flight controllers traced the blank communication to a bad computer chip and rearranged the spacecraft’s coding to work around the trouble.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California declared success after receiving good engineering updates late last week. The team is still working to restore transmission of the science data.”

From ABC News.