It was morning in California when SpaceX started a new record mission with the launch from the Vandenberg base of a Falcon 9 rocket whose first stage was on its third flight. Everything worked well, including the third controlled landing. In the meantime, the second stage brought a group of 64 small satellites into orbit and within about half an hour they were put into a Sun-synchronous orbit, hence the name SSO-A SmallSat Express mission. For SpaceX it was the 19th mission of the year, passing the 18 completed in 2017.
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At a press conference, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the new plans for the return to the Moon with the inclusion of a number of private companies that will have the chance to provide their services to send various types of payload. The program called Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) could start as early as 2019 and represents a first step towards a long-term goal, that is to establish a permanent presence on the Moon with an eye to Mars.
On October 1, 1958, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) began its activity. Officially created on July 29, 1958 following the National Aeronautic and Space Act signed by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, it replaced NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), which was created to develop military projects. NASA was created as a civilian agency to carry out development in the aeronautical and, above all, space sector with peaceful goals.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has revealed that the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the first passenger of the spaceship that’s planned to make a trip around the Moon. This is an extension of the project announced last year given that, according to the new information, 6-8 people will participate but it’s scheduled to take place only in 2023. Another participant could be Elon Musk himself.
Elon Musk, SpaceX founder and CEO, has announced that his company was hired to send two people on a private journey around the Moon in 2018. Musk didn’t reveal the two persons’ identity nor indicated the journey’s cost but merely stated that they have already paid a substantial deposit. The journey will be made on the Dragon V2 spacecraft, the version developed precisely for manned missions, which will be launched on a Falcon Heavy rocket.