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SpaceX Is Having a Good Week

Written by Monica Savaglia
Posted August 15, 2017 at 6:16PM

SpaceX had a successful launch of its Dragon spacecraft on Monday, August 14, 2017, at 12:31 p.m. EDT from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The Dragon is carrying about 6,400 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station.

The company has already surpassed the number of launches it did last year. So far, the launch on Monday is SpaceX’s 12th launch for 2017. This marks the 14th successful rocket landing for SpaceX.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 will be assisting the Dragon cargo capsule, and the company has only one shot to launch Falcon 9 into space.

SpaceX Dragon_190x190Musk’s plans for SpaceX have been ambitious, especially when it comes to traveling to Mars and eventually transporting humans there. However, in mid-June, Musk made a statement announcing that the company won’t be flying its uncrewed “Red Dragon” to the surface of Mars. 

Monday's launch is notable for the company  it will be the last time SpaceX launches a new spacecraft from its current line of Dragons. From here on out, the company will only use refurbished spacecraft.

In June, SpaceX became the first to fly a reusable spacecraft to the station from the United States since the retirement of the space shuttle. It’s not common to reuse or refurbish spacecrafts, but SpaceX wanted to test it out to see if it would be successful, hoping to save the company some money.

SpaceX took 2017 to gain more traction, getting more successful launches under its belt to make up for the failures. Also, more launches means the company will be prepared, comfortable, and ready for its maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket, which is expected to launch this November.

Elon Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies Corp. in 2002 with the objective of revolutionizing space technology and eventually bringing people to space and giving them the option to live on other planets. And this year, SpaceX is moving forward with those goals...

Getting a Grasp on Life Beyond Earth

The 6,400 pounds of cargo on the Dragon includes materials for science experiments for the orbiting laboratory. Also included in the cargo is a supercomputer from Hewlett Packard Enterprises (NYSE: HPE).

SpaceX teamed up with Hewlett Packard to send up a supercomputer to determine if off-the-shelf computer hardware could properly operate in space.

The supercomputer, which is being called the “Spaceborne Computer,” will be in space for a yearlong experiment with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that could make an eventual mission to Mars possible.

The goal of this experiment is to see if the computing system can withstand the harsh conditions of space. If all goes well, it would be the very first commercial computer to operate in space...

Not to mention a huge win for Hewlett Packard. 

The computers that are sent up into space nowadays are for computing calculations and data analysis, which is adequate for trips to the moon or the International Space Station, but trips to Mars would be make it difficult to relay the same information.

It can take up to 26 minutes to get a return signal from Earth to Mars. That would be too long to wait if there was a system failure and astronauts needed to run data analysis to find out the best way to proceed.

Then there’s the significant amount of radiation in space, which, unfortunately, degrades the performance of a computer’s circuits. That degradation could erase data or destroy the computer’s hardware, and that would be bad news for everyone.

Hewlett Packard’s researchers plan to use sensors to detect the presence of high radiation so they can make the necessary changes to the computer to help prevent the effects of radiation.

SpaceX and Hewlett Packard are pushing forward this important experiment with the idea of traveling to Mars and possibly one day making the planet habitable for humans, or at least somewhere to visit.

The more supplies and research materials that come and go from the International Space Station, the closer we get to understanding more about space and how it might be possible for humans to visit space or live on planets other than Earth.

SpaceX has been having a better year, and it’s been able to successfully launch more spacecrafts this year, but it still had some disappointments, like two separate explosions that caused the company to be grounded for months.

What’s important to take away from SpaceX's successful launch is the fact that it continues to encourage experiments to get a better understanding of our limits and opportunities in space.

SpaceX is a privately held company, and Musk continues to tell investors that the company will remain private. According to Equidate, SpaceX recently raised $350 million  bringing the company's value to $21 billion. 

Right now, staying private will be the best decision for the company. It has so much room for growth, and it’s now gaining the momentum it needs to really flourish in space exploration. It needs to keep moving forward with no speed bumps.

Until next time,

Monica Savaglia
Wealth Daily

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