Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Star Trek is getting closer....

Let's talk about space today. More importantly, let's talk about the tiny leap forward--or would that be upward--that took place on March 7th, 2013. That was the day that SpaceX's 10-story test rocket Grasshopper took it's fourth test flight, blasting 263 feet into the air, hovering for 34 seconds and then settling comfortably back to the center of its concrete launch pad in Galveston, Texas.

So what exactly is the big deal about all of this?

SpaceX is seeking to build the world's first reusable rocket, one that can launch spaceships into space and then settle back down to Earth, ready for a quick cleaning and maintenance before doing it all over again. But again why, you ask?

It's all about making space flight affordable. It only costs about $200,000 for the fuel to launch a rocket into space. Unfortunately, the rockets capable of doing that jettison their depleted fuel sections along the way and ultimately burn up in the atmosphere on the way down. The cost of that self-sectioning rocket: 60 million dollars. To avoid that needless waste would be a collosal savings.

By perfecting this re-landing technology, SpaceX will be able to cut the cost of every trip down to mere peanuts. People would be able to launch into space at a whim, maybe to have afternoon coffee in the foyer of the new Bigelow Space Hotel or to play a round of lunar golf on Newt Gingrich's planned moon colony (he says boots on lunar soil are possible by 2020).

So what we are seeing is the systematic approach of a new space-faring future. A Star Trek universe is coming, and I for one am jumping with glee every time a new step forward is made.

If you're excited about the new futuristic technologies or are a space-tech or sci-fi/fantasy fan, drop me a note here on the blog. I'd love to follow your blog, too. Also, join me on Facebook and connect on Twitter. I'm Tim Greaton everywhere, and I'd love to make a ton of new geek friends :-)


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