The SpaceX Falcon Heavy Is Ready To Launch (Ft. The Everyday Astronaut)

Elon Musk’s dream of landing on Mars is a little closer to reality as SpaceX prepares to launch its Falcon Heavy rocket this month, and it couldn’t be more exciting.

=========

TRANSCRIPT:

The Falcon Heavy was first announced in 2011 at a news conference in Washington DC, but the idea had been floating around since 2004. And the idea was pretty simple.

SpaceX had the Falcon 9 rocket, which at the time had done a couple of test runs into Low Earth Orbit so they were getting a feel for what it was capable of.

And what they saw was it was a great workhorse to take cargo to the ISS, and satellites to low Earth orbit and smaller payloads to geosynchronous orbit… but there were some payloads that needed more power.

So… Why not strap a few Falcon 9’s together? Boom. Done.

And that’s basically what the Falcon Heavy is, it’s three Falcon 9 cores connected together with a second stage and payload on the top of the middle core, giving it 27 engines total with 5 million pounds of thrust.

Falcon 9 rockets care called Falcon 9 because they have 9 Merlin engines on them.

Liftoff of this thing is going to be awesome. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a rocket this powerful take off but with SpaceX, the launch is just the precursor to watching them land.

So once it gets into space, the two side cores will disengage, turn around, and head back to the pad.

Then, we are going to watch two Falcon 9s land almost simultaneously. It’ll be like some kind of rocket version of synchronized diving.

The third, middle core will continue to push the dummy cargo into orbit before it disengages, turns and lands on a barge further out to sea.

So once all the first stage cores land, the fairing opens and reveals the dummy cargo, which in the case of this first test flight will be… you guessed it… Elon Musk’s personal original Tesla Roadster.

Never to be outdone in the PR department, Elon Musk announced in December that he was going to use this event to launch his personal Tesla Roadster into Mars orbit. Something he seemed to insinuate was just a joke, but… (show picture)

It’s not a joke. He’s actually launching a car into space.

Just to make it more fun, he says that the stereo on the car will be playing Space Oddity by David Bowie, though I don’t think you’d be able to hear it in the vacuum of space, but still.

And just to be clear, the car isn’t going to Mars, it’s going out to the distance of Mars, so it will circle the sun relatively along Mars’ orbit. For the next billion or so years, according to Elon.

Anyway, when the heavy goes into operation, it will be the most powerful rocket currently in use today, by a factor of 2.

And it will be 4th most powerful rocket of all time behind the Saturn V, the Space Shuttle, and the Soviet N-1, which had a tendency to explode. Every time. It never made it.

Because it had 30 engines. Mo engines mo problems.

This title will be taken back by NASA once the Space Launch System gets up and running, it’ll actually be more powerful than the Saturn V, but we’re still a year or so out on that.

The Heavy already has a couple of satellite launches scheduled, the Arabsat 6A communications satellite and Space Test Program 2 mission for the US Air Force…

There’s also a plan to carry a Dragon Crew spacecraft with two passengers on a circumlunar mission in late 2018. But that’s very speculative.

So they’re making a Big Falcon Rocket. The BFR.

The BFR combines all the power of the three Falcon cores in the Heavy with 31 next-generation Raptor engines, and a large second stage capable of hauling more cargo than the Saturn V and can land vertically, making it fully reusable.

The Raptor engines in the BFR use a liquid methane and liquid oxygen mix called Methalox as fuel because those are capable of being created on Mars, which is the ultimate destination of the BFR.

But the Raptors are also a huge step up from the Merlin engines because they work at extremely high pressure to burn more efficiently and provide more thrust.

The plan is to begin construction on the BFR sometime in 2018 and the first launch isn’t expected until 2022, but even Elon said that was optimistic.

So we may get a few good years out of the Falcon Heavy yet. But it all starts with the first test launch, which is what makes this so compelling.

All About The Falcon Heavy with Tim Dodd The Everyday Astronaut

I spoke with Tim Dodd, who runs the YouTube channel Everyday Astronaut, specifically about the Falcon Heavy for my video on that subject, but we got into all kinds of topics from spaceflight to what inspired us as kids, to the danger of trolls and flat-earthers and the importance of tapping into the wonder that science brings us.

I really enjoyed talking with him, if you haven’t checked out his channel, you can find it at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6uKrU_WqJ1R2HMTY3LIx5Q/featured

Blockchain: Way More Than Just Cryptocurrency

Set up a free Brilliant account at http://www.brilliant.org/answerswithjoe/
And the first 200 to sign up for a premium account get 20% off every month!

You’ve heard of Blockchain, mostly in reference to Cryptocurrencies. But the potential of blockchain goes way beyond that.

Support me on Patreon!
http://www.patreon.com/answerswithjoe

Follow me at all my places!
Instagram: https://instagram.com/answerswithjoe
Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/answersw…
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/answerswithjoe
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/answerswithjoe

LINKS LINKS LINKS:

Bettina Warburg’s TED Talk:
https://youtu.be/RplnSVTzvnU

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/…

https://www.wired.com/story/the-socia…

Don Tapscott’s TED Talk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl8Ol…

Bitcoin: A World-Changer Or Just Another Bubble?

Set up a free Brilliant account at http://www.brilliant.org/answerswithjoe/
And the first 200 to sign up for a premium account get 20% off every month!

Everywhere you look, Bitcoin is in the news.

But for a lot of people, it’s still a total mystery. Let’s take a look and talk about what it is and where it’s going.

BTW, if you want to send me some Bitcoin (some people have asked), here’s my BTC wallet: 15iFWPADUJtQBzKUWjK8qWK757oDPPkx9M

The Mystery Of The Oh My God Particle

From 1983 to 1991 on the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, an experiment had been under way by the University of Utah called the Fly’s Eye Cosmic Ray Detector.

And this is how they found the Oh My God particle, but before I explain it, let me back up and talk about cosmic rays so you can fully grasp the Oh My God reaction here.

Cosmic rays are mostly made up of the nuclei of atoms, 90% of them are single protons – the nuclei of hydrogen atoms. These are much higher energy than solar radiation because unlike photons they actually have mass.

This was the first ultra-high energy cosmic ray discovered, which was shocking not just because of it had a lot of energy, but because it kind-of shouldn’t have been possible thanks to something called the GZK cutoff.

GZK stands for the scientists Kenneth Greisen, Georgie Zatsepin and Vadim Kuzmin, who set a speed limit for cosmic rays at 5 x 10 to the 19th electron volts, or 8 joules of energy. It was believed that particles couldn’t exceed this limit due to interactions with photons in the microwave background radiation.

This new class of cosmic rays became known as trans-GZK cosmic rays. They are super rare and believed to be from fairly close by in order to have that kind of speed – the less they’ve travelled, the less they would be slowed down by the CMB.

Since discovering the OMG particle, there have been a slew of new cosmic ray observatories like the Pierre Auger observatory and the Telescope Array Project, which is the successor to the fly’s eye.

There have also been efforts to focus on high-energy neutrinos with the belief that they may be created in a similar process to the high-energy cosmic rays. There’s an observatory underneath the south pole that specializes in that.

The Venus Project And The Resource-Based Economy

Jacque Fresco was born in 1916 and spent his young adult life struggling through the Depression, which informed his ideas about the economy and society as he grew older. He was a self-taught designer and architect who championed pre-fabricated homes in the 50s and 60s but his real passion was the future.

In 1969, he published a book called Looking Forward, which imagined a future society where technology has made it possible for everyone to have their needs met.

He continued on this line of thinking for the rest of his life, eventually forming The Venus Project with Roxanne Meadows, advocating for a resource-based economy. They built a research center near Venus, Florida based on his design principles and used that as a home base to give presentations, tours, and make videos promoting their new social model.

And that social model is an entirely new economy that is not based on money, where automation and technology provides all our basic needs, nobody has to work, there’s no crime, no poverty, no waste, and it’s totally sustainable.

The Venus Project’s plan for smart cities is to incorporate a circular design, with the central hub housing the core of the cybernated system that controls resource management, educational and healthcare facilities, and communications networks.

Radiating out from there in all directions are concentric rings of buildings housing office space, institutions, and research laboratories.

Surrounding that is a green belt providing recreation and parks, then a residential belt with pre-fabricated homes.

From there, we find a band of apartment buildings and high-rises, again made from preformulated, modular pieces that also contain entertainment venues, theaters, and restaurants. Then an agricultural belt that grows all the food for the city along with hydroponic, aquaponic, and aeroponic facilities.

A circular waterway surrounds the agricultural belt for irrigation, and last but not least, a second recreation belt with paths for walking and biking, golf courses, and outdoor activities.

Anybody who’s been to Disney World in Florida or just watched the Disney Channel when they were kids knows about Epcot Center, but what you may not know was that the original plan for Epcot was something much, much more ambitious.

Epcot stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. According to Disney’s vision, it would be an ever-evolving city designed to test the newest and greatest ideas in housing and urban planning. It would be connected by monorail to the theme park and would house the employees of the park.

But Epcot is not alone. From Octagon City in 1850’s Kansas to England’s Ebenezer Howard and his radial Garden City at the turn of the century to Broadacre City, planned by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright, the circular, modular city of the future is something that always seems to be planned… but never executed.

Earlier this year a company called Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of the Alphabet umbrella that includes Google, purchased 12 acres of waterfront property in Toronto, with the goal of testing out smart city designs and technology.

Just last week, Bill Gates purchased land outside of Phoenix Arizona with the purpose of creating a smart city, though we don’t have any idea on designs for that yet.

And in South Korea, a major smart city project called Songdo has been under construction for the last few years, but it seems to be short of reaching its goals and over budget. It’s supposed to be finished in 2020.