Elon Musk Current Affairs

SpaceX for first time successfully launches recycled rocket and spaceship

US based private rocket launching company SpaceX for first time ever has successfully launched used Dragon spacecraft with a used Falcon 9 rocket. The 2 pre-flown rocket parts were launched together for the first time as part of resupply mission to International Space Station (ISS).

Key Facts

The mission was SpaceX’s 13th of 20 under a $1.6 billion contract with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). After the launch, SpaceX landed its rocket booster upright on solid ground at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The used Dragon spacecraft was on its way to ISS. It carried 4,800 pounds of supplies for astronauts in ISS. So far, SpaceX has managed to return 20 of its rocket boosters after launch, whether on a floating ocean platform or on land as part of its effort to re-use instead of jettison costly components.

SpaceX

SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) is aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in California, US.

It was founded in 2002 by Internet tycoon Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and former PayPal entrepreneur with the goal of creating the technologies to reduce space transportation costs and enable colonization of Mars.

SpaceX has developed the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, both designed to be reusable, thus reducing the cost of lauch. It also has developed Dragon spacecraft to supply cargo to ISS. It is also developing manned version of Dragon.

In 2008, SpaceX had created history by launching first privately funded, liquid-propellant rocket Falcon 1 to reach orbit in 2008. It also became first privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit and recover spacecraft (Dragon) in 2010. It was also first private company to send a spacecraft to ISS, in 2012.

Month: Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018

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India’s first Hyperloop to come up in Andhra Pradesh

India’s first Hyperloop project will come up in Andhra Pradesh, connecting its city centres, Vijayawada and Amaravati.

In this regard, Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) has inked memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) for developing the project.

Key Facts

The first of its kind project in India will use a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model with funding primarily from private investors. In its first phase, HTT will conduct six-month feasibility study, following which it will construct and build HTT’s first Hyperloop in India. The proposed hyperloop will cover 35 km distance between Vijayawada and Amaravati only in five minutes.

Hyperloop Technology

Hyperloop Technology is brainchild idea of technology entrepreneur Elon Musk who dubs it as fifth mode of transportation. It is system of magnetically levitating capsules (pods) that are sent at high speeds through low-pressure tubes. It envisages tube modular transport system that runs free of friction. It uses linear Induction motors in it to control speed of pods. It is still in trial stages in different countries and not been implemented for practical use anywhere in world yet.

Advantages

Hyperloop is two-to-three times faster than fastest high-speed rail and claimed to have speeds even greater than commercial air travel. It has smaller civil engineering footprint, with no direct emissions or noise compared to railways. Hyperloop system’s capital cost per mile is 60% that of high-speed rail, and is less expensive to operate. Furthermore, Hyperloop departures could happen with a low frequency of a pod every 20 seconds which is not possible in railways.

Challenges

It requires heavy investments and therefore effective public and private sector coordination is prerequisite for implementing it. It consumes high-power compared to railways. Technical challenges and accidents may hamper its progress.

Month: Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018

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