Carnival of Space 217

The Carnival of Space 217 is up at Dear Astronomer.

Universe Today – SpaceX to Develop a Fully Reusable Launch System — and Elon Musk Wants to Send Humans to Mars

Elon Musk incidated in a speech that humanity should be willing to spend about one quarter of one percent of GDP for Mars colonization civilization insurance, and Musk said a ticket price of about $500,000 per per person would likely be affordable for about one person in a million. Since humanity will tip the scales at 8 billion by the time the architecture for living on Mars would be available, 8,000 people could afford to head out to Mars.

Mars is the closest potentially habitable planet, he’d like to send people there. He’s not talking about establishing a small base, but sending large numbers of people to live there permanently. He sees this as “life insurance” for humanity in case something happens to our planet, be it a natural catastrophe or a human-caused event.

Analysis of Kepler data suggests that one third of sun like stars have earth like planets in the habitable zone

Spacex has submitted an FAA request for 3 years of tests for a Grasshopper RLV to take off and land vertically. This appears to be developing a reusable first stage

Skylon will continue testing the critical heat exchanger component for the spaceplane

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