It may seem timely, against a backdrop of climate change and a global pandemic, that this weeks successful mission by the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft raised the prospect of safe, commercial space travel.
Billionaire Elon Musks SpaceX completed its first crewed mission into space, with the Crew Dragon capsule splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico this week after a two-month space voyage.
Crew Dragon was the first privately-owned spacecraft to carry humans into space.
It was launched from NASAs Kennedy Space Station at Cape Canaveral on May 31 and made the 19-hour flight to the International Space Station where astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley spent two months before returning to Earth.
NASA reported that the capsule was travelling at a speed of some 28,000kms per hour before entering the Earths atmosphere, at which point its outer surface withstood temperatures reaching almost 2,000 degrees.
The capsule was then slowed by on-board thrusters and two sets of parachutes prior to splashdown.
The crew reportedly spent close to an hour floating inside the capsule before being recovered and flown to NASAs Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, for medical checks.
The mission was also NASAs first crewed mission from American soil in nine years, with recent expeditions to the International Space Station being launched out of Russia.
The successful mission established the credentials of Elon Musks private company SpaceX to transport people safely through space and marks the culmination of a project now 18 years in the making.
This is a craft made by humans, for humans, I think its something humanity should be proud about [it is the] first step on a journey that would see humans become a multi-planetary species, Musk was reported as saying at the launch.
US President Donald Trump reportedly responded to the successful mission of the Crew Dragon by saying: a new age of American ambition has now begun.
Under NASAs Commercial Crew Programme, we will use rockets and spacecraft designed, built, owned and launched by private American companies at a fixed price for the American taxpayer, the President said.
Musk is reportedly planning more adventurous commercial flights to the moon and even to Mars.
Indeed, an unmanned prototype of SpaceXs next-generation Starship vehicle has successfully flown to an altitude of 150m (500ft) before landing again.
The flight was carried out at SpaceXs test site near the village of Boca Chica in south Texas.
The stainless steel test vehicle, called SN5, looks a little bit like old Aussie water tank or wheat silo but, if Musk is to be believed, the final version which would stand 50 metres tall and be powered by six Raptor engines, could one day be capable of carrying as many as 100 humans to Mars.
Mars is looking real, tweeted Musk after the successful test flight.
The big challenge of course, is clearing the gravitational pull of the Earth and that, apparently, will require much more firepower.
And as for price well, so far Musk has signed up Japanese fashion mogul and billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa, for the first round-the-moon trip on the SpaceX Starship (for an undisclosed sum).
More than one Central Coast resident has written to us this week and pondered whether the repeal of the WAR Act (1996) opens up the opportunity for Council to pitch Warnervale Airport to Mr Musk as Australias own Cape Canaveral.
Well, Elon, how about it?
Go here to see the original:
- 'Away' on Netflix: How close it gets to real Mars space travel - Los Angeles Times - September 8th, 2020
- The 'Mighty Mice' That Went To Space Could Help Protect Astronauts' Muscles And Bones - CBS Sacramento - September 8th, 2020
- Top 10 books about space travel - The Guardian - September 8th, 2020
- Space travel on the far horizon - Tennis World USA - September 8th, 2020
- Netflix's Away perfectly captures the boring reality of space travel - Wired.co.uk - September 8th, 2020
- Who is this moron, flying around?: A short history of our disillusionment with space travel - Prospect - September 8th, 2020
- The 'mighty mice' that went to space could help protect astronauts' muscles and bones - FOX10 News - September 8th, 2020
- Cosmonaut Brain Scans Show Space Does Weird Things to Motor Skills And Vision - ScienceAlert - September 8th, 2020
- Mission Gaganyaan: Training Indias Astronauts for Space Travel - The Quint - September 8th, 2020
- 'Away': Hilary Swank series should be much better than it is - Newsday - September 8th, 2020
- What Is It Like to Actually Parent From Space? - Yahoo Lifestyle - September 8th, 2020
- German rocket start-up inaugurates production site in Bavaria - The Star Online - September 8th, 2020
- A NASA Warp Drive Could Be a Reality in the Distant Future - Interesting Engineering - September 8th, 2020
- UK's big advantage that will spark European dominance in post-Brexit space tourism - Daily Express - September 8th, 2020
- Nashville eyes sidewalk dining as a tool to keep restaurants afloat. Could the idea outlast COVID-19? - Tennessean - September 8th, 2020
- How will language change if humans travel the stars? - Slate - September 6th, 2020
- Looking ahead to Mars base, Elon Musk says theres a good chance astronauts could die there - SYFY WIRE - September 6th, 2020
- Netflix's 'Away' Imagines a Future in Which Going to Mars Is Possible - Thrillist - September 6th, 2020
- When It Comes to Virgin Galactic Stock, There Is Absolutely No Rush to Jump In - InvestorPlace - September 6th, 2020
- The Wiggles Address Modes of Travel, Togetherness - GeekDad - September 6th, 2020
- 2020 is the year of the SPAC yet traditional IPOs offer better returns, report finds - MarketWatch - September 6th, 2020
- Making Space: The Female Frontier spotlights the women who shaped space exploration - CNET - September 2nd, 2020
- 10 Interesting Behind-The-Scenes Facts From The Netflix Space Drama Away - Forbes - September 2nd, 2020
- The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Is Funding Some Out of This World Ideas - Interesting Engineering - September 2nd, 2020
- Here are 9 great Netflix short documentaries to watch for inspiration - Yahoo! Voices - September 2nd, 2020
- WATCH | What happens to time when you travel at the speed of light? - Health24 - September 2nd, 2020
- There's a Theory Beyond Relativity That Would Allow You to Fly Through a Wormhole - ScienceAlert - September 2nd, 2020
- Northcoast Veterans Museum looking to expand in Gibonburg - The News-Messenger - September 2nd, 2020
- What CMOs Need To Know About Space Marketing - Forbes - August 25th, 2020
- Could carbon-foam probes bring interstellar flight within reach? - Space.com - August 25th, 2020
- Germs from space could cause havoc in human bodies - Health24 - August 25th, 2020
- Travel: South Side of the Space Coast - Orlando Magazine - August 25th, 2020
- #SpaceWatchGL Opinion: German space policy: the need for a strategy and a corresponding legislation - SpaceWatch.Global - August 25th, 2020
- Neil deGrasse Tyson Reveals the Wonders of Space, and His Personal Space at Home - Mansion Global - August 25th, 2020
- This NASA Animation Shows What It's Really Like to Travel Close to The Speed of Light - ScienceAlert - August 25th, 2020
- Virgin Galactic Just Got $460 Million Reasons to Stay the Course - InvestorPlace - August 25th, 2020
- What you need to buy if you have to get on a plane right now - CNN - August 25th, 2020
- Spider-Woman is Heading To Space With Captain Marvel - Screen Rant - August 25th, 2020
- There's No Logic in Buying Virgin Galactic Stock - InvestorPlace - August 25th, 2020
- 'Go home and hug and kiss your loved ones,' lake tragedy mother tells funeral - Independent.ie - August 25th, 2020
- Friday essay: vizards, face gloves and window hoods a history of masks in western fashion - The Conversation AU - August 25th, 2020
- The Final Frontier: Space Stocks To Watch - Trefis - August 10th, 2020
- As The Agents Of SHIELD Finale Looms, Remembering Its Impressive Achievement - Forbes - August 10th, 2020
- Places That May Make You Feel Like You're Traveling in Space - Peter Greenberg.com Travel News - August 10th, 2020
- In space, bacteria is even more deadly and resilient to antibiotics - The Next Web - August 10th, 2020
- The Martian' movie's toilet tuber could happen: NASA testing machine that turns poop into veggie fertilizer - SYFY WIRE - August 10th, 2020
- Virgin Galactic's Supersonic Jet Is a Commercial Failure in the Making - The Motley Fool - August 10th, 2020
- What leaders can learn from astronauts to build more connected remote teams - Business Insider - Business Insider - August 10th, 2020
- Mission to the Red Planet from NASA in Alabama - AL.com - August 10th, 2020
- Deflated Croissant Uncovering the True Shape of Our Solar System - SciTechDaily - August 10th, 2020
- With Her Restaurant Forced to Close, Sat Kampars Chef Pivots to Pop-Ups - Eater Philly - August 10th, 2020
- Sims 4 new game pack theories and hints: Underwater? Star Wars? Space? - Extra Time Media - August 10th, 2020
- 24 Classic Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books To Read Based On Your Favorite Star Trek Character - Star Trek - August 10th, 2020
- The Science of It: Space Travel - WESH 2 Orlando - August 10th, 2020
- The Science Books We're Reading in Fall 2020 - Discover Magazine - August 10th, 2020
- Star Trek: Where Kirk Is During Discovery Season 1 & 2 Revealed - Screen Rant - August 10th, 2020
- Virgin Galactic partners with Rolls-Royce as it looks to build an aircraft for supersonic air travel - CNBC - August 9th, 2020
- Forget SpaceX: Invest in This Instead - Wealth Daily - August 9th, 2020
- Wawa Puts Kids Meals on the Menu Across Its Network - CSNews Online - August 9th, 2020
- Is Interstellar Travel Really Possible? | Space - August 9th, 2020
- Interstellar travel - Wikipedia - August 9th, 2020
- Space Tourism: 5 Space Companies That Will Make You An ... - August 9th, 2020
- The 12 Greatest Challenges for Space Exploration | WIRED - August 9th, 2020
- SpaceX return: How Nasa astronauts' splashdown has changed the future of space travel - The Independent - August 9th, 2020
- Virgin Galactic reveals new supersonic jet design that would fly three times speed of sound - CNN - August 9th, 2020
- 56 Countries Gather Online In Their Quest To Fix Climate Change - CleanTechnica - August 9th, 2020
- Don't you wish you could fly free like this beautiful space butterfly? - Mashable - August 9th, 2020
- Wawa Soars to New Heights with Kids Meals Landing in All Stores this August - GlobeNewswire - August 9th, 2020
- Rocket center launches mission to save space camp - Theredstonerocket - August 8th, 2020
- Uncovering the shape of the Solar System - Space Daily - August 8th, 2020
- Space and Rocket Centers world record rocket launch is official - WHNT News 19 - August 7th, 2020
- Don't You Wish You Could Fly Free Like This Beautiful Space Butterfly? - Mashable India - August 7th, 2020
- ATLANTIC SKIES: Young astronomers and the Perseid meteors - SaltWire Network - August 7th, 2020
- What Indias Space Activities Bill must address - Asia Times - August 7th, 2020
- Chinas Space Silk Road reaches Mars and beyond - Asia Times - August 7th, 2020
- Wawa launches new Kids Meals that come with an entree, side and trading cards - pennlive.com - August 7th, 2020
- Review: 'Lovecraft Country' HBO vs. 100 years of racist sci-fi - Los Angeles Times - August 7th, 2020
- Can We Outrun Dark Energy In The Race To See The Universe? - Forbes - August 5th, 2020
- Inside The Virgin Galactic Spacecraft That Aims To Take You To Space - Tatler Philippines - August 5th, 2020
- What the airplane cabin of the future might look like - CNN - August 5th, 2020