Space X is making final preparations for its second cargo flight to the International Space Station, currently scheduled for the end of next week. The flight is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on March 1, and is expected to carry about 1,500 pounds of cargo as part of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.
It has been a remarkable and exciting year for commercial spaceflight companies.
Private asteroid mining! Commercial trips to the moon! Mars settlements! We barely had time to catch our breath from the last secret organization announcement when suddenly some other team was cropping up and declaring a bold new adventure in space.
“You had the unveiling of these really audacious business plans that at first blush you would dismiss as impossible,” said journalist and aerospace analyst Jeff Foust, editor and publisher of the space-industry-watching The Space Review. “But when you look at both the technical and financial pedigree of the people backing these systems, you step back and say, ‘Well, maybe there’s something here.’”
Many of these new companies have experts at their helms, founded or run by former NASA engineers and veterans of the spaceflight community. Others showed off their deep entrepreneurial pockets and touted the potential profits to be made in space.
Google Maps has officially stepped into what may be its most difficult challenge yet — mapping the alleys, ledges and trails of the world unreachable by Street View’s cars, tricycles and snowmobiles. The effort formally began on foot Monday as Google took three of its Trekker backpacks down into the Grand Canyon for the new gadgetry’s maiden voyage.
GOOGLE IS UNSTOPPABLE!
Now, this is the plan. Get your ass to Mars.