Daily Archives: January 11, 2021

FREE Online Roulette – Play 60+ Free Games (No Download)

Posted: January 11, 2021 at 10:19 am

The beauty of online roulette is its simplicity. Our free casino roulette games require no sign-up or download. You can instantly experience the thrill of online gaming, without any risking any cash.

Maybe you're new to the game and looking to practice before playing for real money, or just want to play for fun? Either way, free online roulette is the ideal way for you practice and join the action. The game star ratings are user-based, meaning many Casino.org players before you have tried and tested these titles. If you enjoy our games and advance to playing roulette for real money, you'll find classic and alternative roulette variations at our recommended online casinos.

As online casino games go, free roulette is one of the easiest to learn, and amongst the most fun for both new and experienced players to play. So it's a great game to sink your teeth into if you're new to online casinos, or to gambling entirely. Make sure you check out our in-depth guide on how to play roulette.

The gameplay is controlled by a dealer, sometimes referred to in roulette as a croupier, who basically keeps the action moving, announces bets and outcomes, and prompts players when its time for them to act. The action centers around a numbered spinning wheel and a tiny ball. The dealer spins the wheel and drops the ball into the wheel as it's spinning at the start each new round. The objective for players is to correctly guess where on the wheel the ball will come to ultimately rest.

From here its just a case of learning roulette odds, placing your bets and looking on in anticipation to see if you correctly predicted the right result.

Roulette offers you several ways to place bets and players have absolutely no influence over where the ball will land after each spin. So your success or failure depends entirely on luck alone.

Unlike online video poker or blackjack, where skill and strategy can help increase your odds of coming out on top, the only way you can gain an advantage is through the variation you choose. More on that later. For now, lets look at the two types of bet you can make:

In roulette an inside bet is where you bet on one or more numbers inside the roulette grid. Numbers consist of even and odd numbers from 0 (plus an additional 00 slot in American roulette) to 36.

Outside bets are made by placing your bet on options outside of the numbered grid. They offer you blanket bets that increase your chances of winning on each spin.

You can choose to bet on a grouping of numbers, such as the first 12, second 12, or third 12, or even 1-18 or 19-36. You can also choose to bet on an all red or all black number outcome.

Making multiple outside bets gives you the advantage of being in a position to win back at least part of your total overall bet. For example, if you bet on all odd numbers and all black numbers, and the ball lands on black 10, you lose the odds portion of your bet, but win the black portion. However if the ball lands on black 13 you win both parts of the bet for a payoff on each bet.

In roulette there are really no limitations to how many bets you place. Plus, if you're playing for free then you don't have to worry about making, and potentially losing multiple stakes, as it's not real cash anyway. It's all for fun!

Aside from the immediacy and convenience, one of the great things about playing free online roulette at home or on mobile is the variety of different games on offer. Unlike the classic version you'll find throughout land casinos in 2021, playing in real money casino opens up a whole world of exclusive roulette variations unavailable elsewhere.

Some make use of unique rules that favor players, while others have fewer numbers on the wheel that positively change the odds in the game. Even if you only ever play roulette online for free, it can still be rewarding to try out a few different variations and find the one you enjoy playing for fun the most.

One of the key things about European roulette is that it offers players better odds than you'll find in other versions, including American. This is due to the fact that the American version has an extra double 0 that isn't present on the European wheel.

This might not seem significant but the addition of the "00" tile actually gives the casino a better advantage as the house always wins when the ball lands on 0 or 00. This advantage is therefore automatically reduced when one zero's is taken away, as is the case with European roulette.

French roulette also only has one "0" on the wheel. But in addition, this roulette version also features two important rules that have a knock-on effect on betting outcomes. A rule known as La Partage means a player will only lose half of his/her bet if the ball lands on zero on all outside bets placed. The rule doesn't apply to inside bets.

In addition, the En Prison Rule in French roulette effectively puts inside bets "in prison" whenever the ball lands on zero. Which means instead of getting half the bet back as in the La Partage rule, the bet stands for the next spin. If then on the next spin players win their bet they get out of jail free. Should they lose then they forfeit their entire wager.

American roulette is one of the mostly widely available and played variations, both on and offline in casinos today. Although records show it isn't as old as its European and French variations, American roulette is still considered by many to be the standard version of this classic casino game.

In American roulette the numbered wheel features an additional "00" square as well as the standard "0" found in French and European roulette. The inclusion of this "00" isn't a positive for players though. It actually increases the house edge and drags the player odds down. So it's unsurprising that online and land casinos overtly favor this roulette version the most.

As the name suggests, the wheel is smaller than a standard 0-36 numbered wheel. In fact, mini roulette wheels only go up to 12 and, like the European version, only feature a single "0" square.

If the ball happens to land on the "0" tile, half of the stake of all bets are returned to players. Other than that exception, and the miniature wheel size, bets can be placed in just the same way as with standard roulette versions, and no additional rules apply.

In multi ball roulette up to 10 balls can be in play at any one time. The number of balls in use has a direct effect on the odds and players can select and deselect balls until they reach a total they're happy with.

The odds in multi ball roulette also increase because no two balls can land in the same pocket. Giving you more chances to correctly guess the outcome.

Bets are taken just the same way as in traditional one ball roulette and as well as inside and outside bets, additional call bets can be made on top too.

Multi wheel roulette online features up to 8 wheels spinning simultaneously. The bets you make will extend across all 8 wheels, though it is possible to reduce the amount of wheels in play at any one time by deselecting them until you get to your desired number.

The wheels follow the single "0" European roulette version and winning bets either remain on the table for the next round, or can be taken back and added to your bankroll. Every wheel in play spins independently, giving you up to 8 individual chances to win, and markers will help to illuminate winning outcomes.

Live dealer roulette gives you the ease and thrill of online gaming but with the fun and interaction of a real life croupier. Players use online streaming through their Wi-Fi connection to link up to a live game happening in real time.

You can view all of the action through your computer or mobile devices screen, and even interact with the human dealer who will be able to hear you and respond back. It's a great option if you play online roulette at home in isolation but still crave the social interaction of being in a land casino.

No matter which variation of online roulette you play the common denominator is that it's always fun, exciting, and a thrilling game to participate in. Whether you're playing for real money or for free.

As weve highlighted, there are so many unique free roulette varieties you can find in online casinos today, not to mention a breadth of bets you can place. All of which ensure that when it comes to online roulette the enjoyment factor never has to end.

Free play games are a great place to begin with online roulette, even if you have some experience of playing in land casinos. Without having to risk any of your own money, or make a real cash deposit upfront, you're completely unrestricted to bet without any consequences. So even if your eventual intention is to take part in real money roulette online, playing for free will help prepare you for the reality of the real cash experience.

So dont miss out on the opportunity to play at the best casinos in 2021, all for fun. Give our recommended free online roulette games a chance and see just how much fun you can have, and how successful you can be, spinning that iconic roulette wheel in today's top online casinos.

Want to play more than just roulette? Discover more free casino games including blackjack and video poker.

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FREE Online Roulette - Play 60+ Free Games (No Download)

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The Best Free Online Roulette Games – Play Here!

Posted: at 10:19 am

If you're new to the game, you might assume theres not much choice when it comes to playing free roulette online. Well, you might be surprised at what you find! All the best casino portals offer different variations of the game includingAmerican,European, and even multiplayer variations, where you can actually play alongside other players in free roulette games.

To get access to gambling sites' free online roulette tables, just find an internet casino that you like and download the software. Just make sure you really can play without using cash at the site youve picked! Every now and then you might be prompted to play forreal moneybut most of the good casinos will never shut you out of free online roulette even if you never choose to play for real stakes.

Not sure where to begin to find the best free online casino sites? Start with us. We've found the best internet casinos to play at and you can play 100% free roulette online at all of them. The sites weve picked all offer:

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The Best Free Online Roulette Games - Play Here!

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Play Online Roulette – for Free or Real Money | Roulette77 …

Posted: at 10:19 am

Roulette seems complicated but its not. Although the table may look a little daunting at first, it only just covers the existing bets and various combinations thereof. Whether you play for free or actual money, the rules remain pretty much the same. First, there are several components that you need to start a game. They include:

The role of the croupier can be replaced by software which will automate the game for you and even save you some time when playing against the casino. Now, to actually play roulette online, you should follow these steps:

You will notice that in each game there are table limits which determine the minimum and maximum bet you can make. Meanwhile, you will also see that there are many combinations of available bets you can place. Simply refer to the table to see what each bet means. If you want to test a bet first, you can just opt for free online roulette and only then transition to the real money game.

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Play Online Roulette - for Free or Real Money | Roulette77 ...

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Murray takes his game to Green Bay – Winnipeg Free Press

Posted: at 10:19 am

Defenceman Owen Murray changed teams for the second time in five months Sunday, leaving the BCHL's Penticton Vees for a chance to play immediately with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers.

The Vees have not played since Nov. 14 when the play was halted due to pandemic restrictions in B.C. with no firm restart date.

The Gamblers, meanwhile, are 11-3-0-2 and sit second in the USHL's Eastern Division. The club's next game is Friday night in Muskegon against the Lumberjacks.

"It was pretty hard leaving a really good group of guys in Penticton and made a lot of close friends there and learned a lot while I was out there but at the end of the day, you've gotta play hockey," said Murray while in transit to Green Bay Sunday afternoon.

"Green Bay is going to offer that. The USHL has been running and that's what I went with."

In the off-season, the 5-10, 180-pounder from Decker, Man. requested a trade from the MJHL's Portage Terriers to the BCHL, a league regarded as the most competitive junior A circuit in Canada. He started well in Penticton, scoring 12 points in 14 pre-season games to lead all BCHL blue-liners.

Those elite offensive skills helped the 18-year-old earn a NCAA scholarship from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he is scheduled to enrol as a freshman this fall. Murray is a C-rated prospect for the 2021 NHL Draft.

Gamblers head coach and general manager Pat Mikesch pursued his services prior to Sunday's transaction deadline and Murray felt he couldn't resist the certainty of real game action. The USHL is going ahead with a 60-game regular season.

"It would be phenomenal to get 45 games in any year like this so can't complain about that at all," said Murray. "There are kids still sitting at home who haven't played a game since March when everything shut down."

At least two other Manitobans have transferred to USHL rosters recently: centre Carter Loney left the Salmon Arm Silverbacks to join the Sioux City Musketeers while defenceman Hudson Thornton opted to leave the Chilliwack Chiefs for the Fargo Force. The Chiefs have lost at least six regulars to the USHL in the past month.

The uncertainty over the lifting of restrictions in B.C. played a big part in Murray's decision.

"They're still expected to play at some point," said Murray. "I believe the league released that they're going to try for Feb. 8 now but I mean that's three days after the next review of their policies and restrictions, so they can be revamped again and that pushes it back another month."

In other news:


Winnipeg Ice centre Conor Geekie has committed to playing in the WHL this season.

Winnipeg Ice centre Conor Geekie, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 WHL Draft, had options to play elsewhere but has decided wait for the start of the WHL season.

Friday's announcement from the WHL's board of governors committing to a 24-game regular season helped to sway his decision. Geekie said he considered two offers from the USHL and two from the North American Hockey League. He played nine games with the MJHL's Virden Oil Capitals while on loan from the Ice.

"I'm just gonna stay home and stay on this side of the border," the 16-year-old Geekie said from his home in Strathclair. "I mean, Virden and Winnipeg have been great to me so I think it's only fair I kind of hold out and stay with them for a while. It was never really a certain thing that I was going and it wasn't like I was committed to a team or anything."


Seattle Thunderbirds sniper Conner Roulette has also decided against pursuing a job in the USHL.

Seattle Thunderbirds sniper Conner Roulette, an A-rated prospect for the 2021 NHL Draft, also decided against pursuing a job in the USHL.

"I'm just kind of more focused on the WHL which is looking to a late February start," said Roulette, a Winnipegger who played three games with the Selkirk Steelers while on loan from Seattle.

The 17-year-old left-winger had 19 goals in his rookie season with the Thunderbirds.


Twitter: @sawa14


Murray takes his game to Green Bay - Winnipeg Free Press

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Vegas in the Rockies? Colorados casino towns get ready for higher betting limits – The Denver Post

Posted: at 10:19 am

Las Vegas-style gaming, thats what the city of Black Hawk says is coming to town this spring after Colorado voters approved Amendment 77 in November.

The amendment grants powers to voters in the states three gambling towns Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek to increase bet limits beyond the states previous constitutionally mandated cap of $100 and approve new games, assuming those games are allowed by the states Limited Gaming Control Commission.

The Black Hawk City Council wasted little time following through, voting on Dec. 1 to approve unlimited single-bet wagers and allowing casinos in the city to offer baccarat, keno, pai gow poker, and a number of other games pending state rulemaking. The changes will take effect as soon as allowed, May 1, per Amendment 77s ballot language.

Soon, Coloradans wont have to hop on a plane to satisfy their appetite for Las Vegas-style gaming, a city news release put out that day proclaimed.

The changes put Colorado on a more level playing field with other states with legal gambling. Bet limits only existed in Colorado and, at a much higher level, in South Dakota prior the vote, according to Jessica Feil of the American Gaming Association.

And while the states gambling towns are moving quickly to embrace the new freedom leaders in both Central City and Cripple Creek have followed Black Hawk, passing measures in recent weeks to lift bet limits and allow new games some casino managers and elected officials are pumping the breaks on just how big an impact Amendment 77 will have on those communities.

In other words, dont expect Colorado 119 to transform into the Vegas Strip.

This is not a game changer for us, Sean Demeule, general manager of the Ameristar Casino Resort and Spa in Black Hawk, one of the states largest casinos said this week. When I say its not a game changer I mean I dont expect it to grow revenue by hundreds of millions of dollars every year. It just allows us to have some parity with neighboring states.

But there are obvious advantages in not having to mount a campaign to amend the state constitution every time casinos want to add a new kind of felt-topped table or spinning wheel to their floors. It took the passage of Amendment 50 in 2008 to increase bet limits in the state to $100 from $5, add roulette and craps to the slate of permitted games and allow casinos to stay open 24 hours.

To allow the local government and the local voters to kind of control the offerings allows us to react to industry trends more quickly and allows us to offer games that are available in other casinos around the country, said Demeule, who is also the secretary-treasurer of the Colorado Gaming Association.

Bacarrat is one game in particular Colorado casinos have been clamoring to add to their floors. The fast-paced, two-card game, a favorite of James Bond, is expected to be among the first added once the gaming commission considers a list of new games at an upcoming meeting.

When it comes to the rulemaking the state has to go through, department of revenue spokeswoman Suzanne Karrer said last month that largely has to do with cleaning up language, removing references in state rules to $100 bet limits that will no longer be in effect come May.

It wont be a total free-for-all. Dan Hartman, director of the Colorado Division of Gaming, has made it clear that new games must be submitted to the commission for approval, Karrer said.

Vegas-style gaming is sure to appeal to at least some Coloradans, particularly those in the metro area, according to outgoing Gilpin County commissioner Ron Engels. Gilpin county is home to both Black Hawk and neighboring Central City.

Denver is the second-largest feeder market for Las Vegas and the (casino) operators who are going to be extending their limit or removing them are certainly hoping some of those people stay here, Engels said. But were are also hoping that people will make this a primary destination as well, coming from elsewhere in the country to visit our mountain community.

Engels is wary of potential negative impacts of the county becoming more of a national or even international destination. He noted before Black Hawk and Central City became gambling towns, Gilpin county had a four-room jail. As of last month, the justice center was housing somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 to 80 inmates, and 85% of all jail activity was gaming-related, he said.

If (Amendment 77) adds impacts there, we might be at a $10 to $15 million expansion to our justice center, he said.

But Engels is hopeful the negative impacts will be minimal and he and other Gilpin County leaders understand very clearly that it will improve our finances. Our portion of the tax distribution will be increasing as the market grows.

In the states 2020 election voter guide, the fiscal analysis of Amendment 77 said the measure will likely increase state and local revenue, noting that Amendment 50 resulted in a roughly $10 million increase in annual gambling tax income across the state.

Amendment 77 sticks with existing state gambling laws dedicating 78% of all tax revenue to community colleges.

The appeal of unlimited bet amounts is limited by just how much risk the average person is willing to take. Lifting bet limits doesnt mean $5,000-a-hand blackjack tables are going to be replacing the $25-a-hand ones.

Ameristar is owned by Penn National Gaming Inc., which has properties in more than 20 states, Demeule said. While most people dont want to gamble at the level reserved for high-stakes enthusiasts known as whales in casino parlance, Demeule is confident Penn has clients around the country who will now consider Colorado when bet limits may have kept them away before.

We have a great product here in Colorado, he said.

Central City mayor Jeremy Fey knows that as gross wagers rise profits rise and that for him hits at what he hopes will be the key benefit for his community: attracting new operators to a town with 60% commercial vacancy rate.

Central City and Black Hawk border one another but they have taken drastically different approaches to being gambling towns. Casino operators cant build anything over four stories in Central City, Fey notes. Meanwhile, Black Hawk is home to the Ameristar tower and its 536 hotel rooms, the expanding Monarch Casino Resort Spa and other big-time properties.

But Fey supported the legislation as a tool of economic development anyway and after a recent sale of a historic building that has sat vacant for decades, he feels the future is bright.

I never thought that some of our mom-and-pop casinos will be hosting the whales of America. Theyre welcome here. Ill have them over for dinner, Fey joked. But (Amendment 77) was more important in enticing new operators to the market. Im not sure the average person walking the street anticipated that effect, but Im optimistic about those effects.

By the time the amendment takes effect in May, its hard to tell what the situation will be when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the county being moved to Level Orange on the states color-coded coronavirus restriction dial this week allowing casinos to seat people inside of their on-site restaurants, Gilpin County was still enforcing its own rules shutting down all table games. Even with the vaccine being rolled out as bet limits are rolled back, Demeule isnt counting on Amendment 77 undoing the damage done by a year of steep declines in visits and stays.

I dont know that well ever make back fully what we lost in 2020, he said.

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SpaceX Will Launch Its First 2021 Mission This Week, With Many Milestones to Come – Observer

Posted: at 10:18 am

After a record-setting 2020 marked by 24 orbital launches, including two manned flights to the International Space Station, SpaceX has even more ambitious plans for 2021. And its getting off to a quick start, with the years first rocket mission scheduled to blast off as soon as this week.

The space companys first rocket launch this year will be a satellite mission to deliver a communications satellite for a Turkish company, which intends to build television broadcast services over Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The mission was initially scheduled for November and later pushed back to Monday, with the launch window opening from 8:30 p.m. to 12:29 a.m. at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. At press time, the launch has been delayed again,according to Fox 35 Orlando.

(Updated on January 6: The satellite mission is scheduled to launch on Thursday during a four-hour launch window beginning at 8:28 p.m. ET.)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has set the lofty goal of launching 48 Falcon missions this year. That means the company will have to fly a rocket almost every week, not including tests of non-Falcon projects, such as Starship.

SpaceX has scheduled its second operational ISS mission, Crew-2, for the spring, sending four astronauts from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A third mission, called Crew-3, is scheduled for the fall.

Late in the year, SpaceX also plans to fly a private ISS mission for Houston-based startup Axiom Space, carrying a crew of four, including Michael Lpez-Alegra, a former NASA astronaut who now works for Axiom, former Israeli fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe, and two yet-to-be-announced space tourists.

2021 will be a critical year for SpaceXs Starship, the giant spacecraft that will one day fly humans to the moon, Mars and beyond.

SpaceX already has two new prototypes, SN9 and SN10, standing at the launch pad at the companys Boca Chica, Texas launch site. Musk has hinted that the two prototypes could fly simultaneously sometime in the coming weeks.

On December 7, the eighth Starship prototype, SN8, successfully completed the first high-altitude test, flying to 12 kilometers and coming back almost in one piece.

If everything goes according to the plan, at least one Starship prototype will reach orbit by the end of the year.

SpaceXs ambitious satellite-based broadband internet service, Starlink, is arguably the fastest-growing division within the space company at the moment. In 2020, SpaceX launched 16 batches of Starlink satellites and started beta service in North America.

More launches are expected in 2021 to enhance existing service and expand coverage globally.Six launches have been planned for January and February, although exact launch dates have yet to be determined.


SpaceX Will Launch Its First 2021 Mission This Week, With Many Milestones to Come - Observer

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In final days of presidency, Trump to visit border wall in South Texas – CW33 NewsFix

Posted: at 10:18 am

McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) President Donald Trump plans to visit South Texas on Tuesday and view the border wall his signature project just a week before he leaves office.

The White House on Saturday issued a statement that Trump is scheduled to visit the town of Alamo, Texas, and a segment of border wall to celebrate the 400th mile of completion.

However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan last week told media that the federal government has already built 450 miles of new border wall along the U.S. line with Mexico. And on Oct. 29, Acting Homeland Secretary Chad Wolf and Morgan and other top-ranking government officials visited a section of newly built border wall off 23rd Street in McAllen, Texas, to mark the completion of 400 miles.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, confirmed to Border Report Trumps scheduled visit on Tuesday. And he provided a VIP Notice for flight restrictions in the Rio Grande Valley that was issued by the FAA to prevent aircraft movement that day.

Trump reportedly will land in Harlingen, Texas, and take a helicopter, sources told KVEO and ValleyCentral.Com.

Trumps visit could occur a day after Democrats in the House of Representatives could issue articles of impeachment against him. If so, Trump could be the first president to be impeached twice.

This would make Trumps second visit to the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas since he took office in 2017. He visited Mission, Texas, on Jan. 10, 2019, with U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.

This is a developing story and more information will be added as it is received.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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NASA’s Europa Clipper has been liberated from the Space Launch System | TheHill – The Hill

Posted: at 10:18 am

Almost unnoticed, tucked into the 2021 fiscal NASA funding section of the recently passed omnibus spending bill, is a provision that would seem to liberate the upcoming Europa Clipper mission from the Space Launch System (SLS).

According to Space News, the mandate that the Europa Clipper mission be launched on an SLS remains in place only if the behind-schedule and overpriced heavy lift rocket is available and if concerns about hardware compatibility between the probe and the launcher are resolved. Otherwise, NASA is free to search for commercial alternatives to get the Europa Clipper to Jupiters ice-shrouded moon.

Europa Clipper is slated to go into orbit around Jupiter and make multiple flyby maneuvers near Europa, an icy world that many scientists believe has a warm ocean under the ice layer. Life may exist in that ocean, the confirmation of which would be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of this or any other century.

The Europa Clipper being mandated to fly on an SLS to begin with was the result of an unseemly side of congressional budget politics. The space probe was championed by former Rep. John CulbersonJohn Abney CulbersonNASA's Europa Clipper has been liberated from the Space Launch System Texas Republicans sound post-2020 alarm bells 2020 Democratic Party platform endorses Trump's NASA moon program MORE (R-Texas), who at the time was the chair of the House appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA. In order to get support for the Europa Clipper, Culberson added the SLS mandate, which garnered support from Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyNASA's Europa Clipper has been liberated from the Space Launch System Republican infighting on election intensifies Bipartisan group of senators: The election is over MORE ( R-Ala.), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Shelbys state contains a number of aerospace contractors involved in developing the SLS.

Ironically, Culberson lost his seat in 2018, in part, because his opponent, Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas), accused him of being more concerned with space missions than local issues, such as flooding brought on by Hurricane Harvey. Nevertheless, the Europa Clipper continued without its key champion in Congress.

As Ars Technica points out, launching the Europa Clipper on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy saves the mission $1.5 billion. An advantage of using the SLS has been that it allows for a direct path to Jupiter without the time-consuming planetary flyby maneuvers that previous missions to the outer planets have required. The Falcon Heavy alone would not be able to get the Europa Clipper to Jupiter space directly, though it might be able to if equipped with a powerful Centaur kick stage.

Both the economics and physics of getting to Europa change if SpaceXs Starship, currently under development in Boca Chica, Texas, becomes available to launch the Europa Clipper in the mid-2020s. The Starship is meant to fulfill SpaceXs CEO Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskNASA's Europa Clipper has been liberated from the Space Launch System Will Axiom Space provide a commercial space station replacement for NASA's ISS? World's richest people added .8T to their combined wealth in 2020 MOREs dreams of settling Mars. But the massive reusable rocket would be available for other things, presumably including sending probes to the outer planets.

The massive cost savings by using a commercial launcher for the Europa Clipper creates other possibilities. The Europa Lander could be placed back on. A mission to Saturns frozen world Enceladus may also be greenlit.

The SLS is the result of a Faustian bargain struck between NASA and Congress in 2010. Congress was enraged by then-President Obamas cancellation of the Bush-era Constellation deep space exploration program. According to then-NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, NASA agreed to the SLS in return for Congress supporting the Commercial Crew program that recently came to fruition with the launch of astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on a SpaceX Crew Dragon.

The SLS has since been a lead weight on Americas space ambitions. The SLS slated to launch the Artemis 1 uncrewed mission around the moon is currently stuck in a ground-based green run series of tests. The SLS is currently using up a great deal of the money allocated to NASAs Artemis program. The first flight is scheduled for November 2021 at the earliest.

In the meantime, SpaceX has been flying prototypes of the Starship, albeit only in the atmosphere and with occasionally explosive results. NASA is officially disdainful of the idea of replacing the SLS with the Starship. However, a version of the SpaceX massive rocket ship is in the running as a lunar lander for Artemis. It would not be too great a leap to cut out the SLS entirely and go directly with the Starship, if it were not for congressional budget politics.

And that, as Shakespeare would say, is the rub.

Mark Whittington, who writes frequently about space and politics, has published a political study of space exploration entitled Why is It So Hard to Go Back to the Moon? as well as The Moon, Mars and Beyond. He blogs at Curmudgeons Corner. He is published in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Hill, USA Today, the LA Times, and the Washington Post, among other venues.

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New Texan Elon Musk is now the richest person in the world, passing Amazon’s Jeff Bezos – Houston Chronicle

Posted: at 10:18 am

Elon Musk is now the world's richest person, according to Bloomberg.

Musk, the entrepreneur behind electric auto manufacturer Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, surpassed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index Thursday morning following a rise in Tesla's share price.

Musk's net worth Thursday afternoon was $194.8 billion, or $9.5 billion more than Bezos who had held the top spot since October 2017, Bloomberg said.

And with Musk recently confirming his move to Texas, that means the world's richest man now lives in the Lone Star State.

More on his relocation: Elon Musk confirms that he has moved to Texas

Musk suggested he moved to Texas (the exact location is unknown, but he's rumored to be looking in the Westlake area near Lake Austin) to be closer to two big projects: a Tesla Gigafactory outside of Austin to assemble electric-powered vehicles and a SpaceX facility near Brownsville that is developing and testing prototypes of the Starship spacecraft to carry people to the moon, Mars and beyond.

Tesla is building its largest "Gigafactory 15 minutes east of downtown Austin to assemble electric-powered Cybertruck pickups and Model Y SUVs. The more than 4-million-square-foot plant is seen as a sign of the accelerating energy transition that will have profound implications for Houston and Texas oil-dependent economy.

SpaceX tests every one of its rocket engines from McGregor. And in Boca Chica, a community outside of Brownsville, the company is testing prototypes of its Starship spacecraft. This vehicle is designed to launch atop the SpaceX Super Heavy rocket and carry people to the moon, Mars and beyond.

The company recently launched its SN8 prototype to roughly 40,000 feet, where it flipped itself around in midair and then landed vertically but hard, and in a ball of flames.

Musk had considered that flight a success -- Mars, here we come!! he said on Twitter -- and the company could soon launch its SN9 prototype.

Bloomberg said that Musk added more than $165 billion to his fortune over the past year, which is "probably the fastest bout of wealth creation in history."

His rise in net worth was fueled by Tesla's share price, which surged 743 percent last year due to consistent profits, the company's inclusion in the S&P 500 Index and overall enthusiasm from Wall Street and retail investors, Bloomberg said.

Bezos, who also founded a space company, Blue Origin, would still be the world's richest person if he had not gone through a divorce, where his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott received about a quarter of the family Amazon stake, and his philanthropy. Bezos donated shares worth about $680 million in November, according to Bloomberg.

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New Texan Elon Musk is now the richest person in the world, passing Amazon's Jeff Bezos - Houston Chronicle

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SpaceX kicks off busy year with launch of Turkish relay station – CBS News

Posted: at 10:18 am

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket thundered to life and streaked away from Cape Canaveral on Thursday night, boosting a Turkish communications satellite into orbit to kick off another busy year for the California rocket company.

The launching set the stage for the Monday return to Earth of an unpiloted Dragon cargo ship carrying research samples and equipment from the International Space Station and a presumed test flight by a prototype Starship upper stage from SpaceX's Boca Chica, Texas, launch site.

Last year, SpaceX launched 26 Falcon 9 rockets, including two piloted Crew Dragon missions that ferried six astronauts to the International Space Station, two unpiloted Dragon cargo ships to the lab and 14 Starlink flights that put 833 internet relay satellites into orbit.

The company is expected to attempt 40 or more Falcon 9 flights in 2021, including another NASA Crew Dragon flight to the station and, possibly, a fully commercial flight carrying four non-NASA astronauts.

The company kicked off its 2021 launch campaign at 9:15 p.m. ET Thursday when the nine Merlin engines powering a previously flown Falcon 9 first stage roared to life at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Generating 1.7 million pounds of thrust, the 229-foot-tall two-stage rocket blasted off from pad 40 and climbed away to the east, knifing through a mostly clear sky and putting on a spectacular show for area residents and tourists.

The first stage, making its fourth flight, boosted the rocket out of the lower atmosphere before falling away and flying itself down to landing on a SpaceX droneship stationed several hundred miles from Cape Canaveral. It was SpaceX's 71st successful booster recovery and its 49th on an off-shore droneship.

The second stage, meanwhile, continued the climb to space, carrying out two firings of its single engines before releasing the Turksat 5A communications satellite 33 minutes after liftoff.

The 7,500-pound relay station, built by Airbus Defense and Space for Turksat, was deployed into a highly elliptical "transfer" orbit and will use on-board plasma thrusters over the next four months to reach its operational altitude 22,300 miles above the equator.

Orbiting in lockstep with Earth's rotation, the satellite's 42 transponders will provide commercial broadband data relay and direct TV broadcasting services across Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. A second satellite, Turksat 5B, is scheduled for launch later this year.

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SpaceX kicks off busy year with launch of Turkish relay station - CBS News

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