Who is Elon Musk?
Elon Musk is a South African-born American industrial engineer, entrepreneur, who co-founded Paypal and founded aerospace transportation services company SpaceX. He is also one of the early investors in Tesla, an electric car company, and now the Chief Executive Officer of the firm as well. Business StandardWho is Elon Musk: Latest News on Elon Musk, Top News, Photos, Videos, Age
12 May, 2021 - 08:20am
The Long March 7 during its first rollout in 2016. The rocket is capable of generating one million pounds of thrust at liftoff by using two YF-100 staged-combustion Liquid Oxygen-Kerosene rocket engines. Image: CASC
Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) has launched roughly four times the tonnage launched by the Chinese aerospace agency, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), in 2021. This revelation comes the courtesy of data compiled by Patrick Collison, the chief executive officer of Stripe - a financial technology firm operating in California.
A look at SpaceX's launch manifest through the course of this year reveals that the company continues to build out its Starlink internet constellation aggressively. At the close of 2020, more than half of the Hawthorne, California-based launch services provider's launches were for Starlink payloads. Out of the 25 Falcon 9s that took off last year, 14 carried Starlink satellites to their orbits. The others involved crew and cargo missions for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and commercial satellite operators.
This trend has accelerated so far in 2021, with 11 of the 14 Falcon 9 launches conducted by SpaceX so far carrying Starlink payloads. The other three include SpaceX's first dedicated ridesharing mission, Transporter-1, NASA's Crew-2 launch and a Turkish communications satellite.
The total mass launched by the Falcon 9 so far this year is 193 tons, out of which 117 tons were launched during the first quarter. Mr. Collison's calculations reveal that during this same time period, the CASC launched roughly 27 tons to orbit, indicating that during Q1 2021, SpaceX launched more than four times the tonnage to orbit than China's national space agency. Additionally, Starlink alone accounted for 109 tons or 93% of the Q1 launch tonnage.
The CASC's first launch this year was of a mobile communications satellite dubbed Tiantong-1, which also marked China's first foray into this sector. It was followed by another launch in late January which consisted of three Earth reconnaissance satellites dubbed Yaogan31-02A, Yaogan-31-02B and Yaogan-31-02C. According to Chinese media reports, the Yaogan satellites will conduct civilian reconnaissance, with Western analysts suspecting that they will also be used for military purposes.
Tesla now manufactures slightly more than 1 car every minute and SpaceX launched 2/3 of all tonnage launched to space in the first quarter of 2021. pic.twitter.com/CcuM5W1GHY
— Patrick Collison (@patrickc) May 9, 2021
Courtesy of SpaceX, the U.S. accounted for roughly 43% of orbital payload launches this year, nearly all of which were conducted by the Falcon 9. The others include Northrop Grumman Corporation's Antares launch in February from Virginia and Atlas rocket launches by the United Launch Alliance.
While the vast majority of the Falcon 9's payloads so far have been the Starlink satellites, out of the thirty publicly disclosed Falcon launches for the remainder of this year, only six are for Starlink. Naturally, this figure will change as the year progresses, and SpaceX determines more launch windows for its launches.
Yet, what is clear is that 2021 is set up to be a historic year for the company as it will have conducted the highest number of launches to date. In the second half of this year and in May, Space will have launched more missions than it did throughout 2020.
Two of the launches in 2021 will be with the Falcon Heavy, and both will carry classified payloads for the United States Space Force (USSF). Since the rocket's maiden flight in 2018. it has flown only twice, with SpaceX often choosing the Falcon 9 for missions originally designated for the Heavy due to advances in the Merlin engine allowing the latter to carry more payload.
The CASC has 11 flights on its manifest before the first half of this year is over. These will launch more remote sensing and reconnaissance satellites through the Long March and Kuaizhou rockets. While it launched the most payload to orbit this year after the U.S, China is yet to develop reusable rockets, which significantly bring down launch costs. The country is believed to be developing a reusable variant of the Long March lineup, which will land its center stage and side boosters together either on land or on the sea.
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11 May, 2021 - 05:55am
The company, founded by Elon Musk, the third-richest person in the world, according to Forbes, is in the process of launching a low-earth orbiting (LOE) constellation of satellites to provide low latency, high bandwidths internet to consumers across the globe and has identified Nigeria as a critical market.
The company has been in discussion with NCC virtually over the past several months to begin the process of bringing it to Nigeria.
Led by Ryan Goodnight, SpaceX’s market access director for Africa, and supported by Levin Born, a consultant, the company provided an overview of its plans, expectations, licensing requests and deployment phases at a meeting in Abuja, on Thursday.
Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC, who was represented by Ubale Maska, executive commissioner of technical services, said the agency will work on necessary modalities to ensure that it balances the need for healthy competition with regard to the entry of new technologies, in order to protect all industry stakeholders.
“As the regulator of a highly dynamic sector in Nigeria, the commission is conscious of the need to ensure that our regulatory actions are anchored on national interest,” he told the SpaceX delegation.
“We have listened to your presentation and we will review it vis-à-vis our regulatory direction of ensuring effective and a sustainable telecoms ecosystem where a licensee’s operational model does not dampen healthy competition among other licenses.”
He noted that the commission is interested in making necessary regulatory efforts to drive the coverage of rural, unserved and underserved areas of the country through the accomplishments of the lofty targets contained in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025.
Starlink is said to be ideally suited for areas where connectivity has typically been been unreliable or completely unavailable.
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