SpaceX revealed their new Dragon II capsule complete with emergency rocket landing mechanism this week. The company also received approval to launch from a new facility many of my colleagues in NewSpace have been working for:
The spaceport would be constructed at Boca Chica Beach (TX), an area used mostly for recreation and surrounded by over 50 acres of undeveloped sand dunes and wetlands. Texas state officials have been making efforts to sway SpaceX toward the location in order to create new jobs and attract tourism. The Texas legislature has proposed tax breaks and passed a law allowing for nearby beaches to be closed off for safety during launches.This region is at the southern tip of the Lone Star State. Because it's closer to the equator than Kennedy Space Center, it provides even more "free" velocity for orbit-bound spacecraft and still has a big, mostly empty ocean region to the east to handle lower stage or early abort recovery.
- Ants vs Google: Ants win.
- Neil dygrasse Tyson was on All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC this week, good stuff if you can catch a clip. The teaser was, he'd be talking about climate change denialists and creationist with Hayes this next Monday evening.
- Speaking of interviews, the Snowden spot with Bryan Williams is just incredible. Quality trad med journalism imo. And while I, like many, feel conflicted, his demeanor appears earnest, his concerns are well stated, and some of his conclusions sound highly plausible, at least to to me. See, it's not just that everything you do is being recorded ...