Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, is a space transport company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by former PayPal entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is quoted in Bloomberg: "I would like to die on Mars,” he says. “Just not on impact.”. SpaceX has developed the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, both of which were designed from conception to be reusable. SpaceX also developed the reusable Dragon spacecraft which was launched on the 22nd of May 2012 via the Falcon 9, and was the first private commercial spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station.
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The Wired (2/21, Mann) "Wired Science" blog reports, "The world's first space tourist, Dennis Tito is planning to launch a manned mission to Mars in January 2018 on a round-trip journey lasting 501 days." Tito, who founded the Inspiration Mars Foundation nonprofit, will hold a press conference about the project on February 27. The article notes there are "numerous" questions about the project, including "how the mission intends to keep its participants safe and healthy during the journey."
Jeff Foust at the NewSpace Journal (2/21) also questions the venture because of the cost, technical issues, and even timing. He comments, "Keep in mind NASA slipped a Mars rover that is, to first order, a copy of Curiosity to 2020 because it didn't have the time and budget to get it ready for the more favorable 2018 opportunity." He thinks instead the mission may just include a "non-human biological payload" like plants or animals.
Our mission is to build, launch, and operate a space telescope to be placed in orbit around the Sun; to find and track threatening asteroids before they find us.
Google "B612 Foundation".
Russia's ITAR-TASS News Agency (2/21) reports, "Russia's Interior Minister Vladimir Puchkov hopes that the emergency situation following the fall of a meteor in the Chelyabinsk Region will boost the creation of technologies of monitoring small bolides. Also, it would like experts and scientists to share their ideas how to minimize the effects of meteor rains on cities and communities." Puchkov "recalled he had formed a working group of specialists from the Emergencies Ministry, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Emergencies Ministry Strategic Studies Center and members of the Emergencies Ministry council of experts."
Meanwhile, Russia's RIA Novosti (2/21) reports, "The Russian Aerospace Defense Forces will develop a series of measures aimed at protecting the Russian soil from falling meteorites and other dangerous space objects, commander of the western military district's aviation Maj. Gen. Igor Makushev said on Wednesday." The article notes Astronomy Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Director Boris Shustov also "said it was impossible to spot the meteorite" that hit Russia, "as it was coming from the direction of the Sun, while radars were set to detect objects flying within a predetermined speed range."
Scientist  (2/21) reports, "Next week the
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will launch the world's first dedicated asteroid-hunting
satellite just after one of the hottest events in space rock history:
a surprise meteor that exploded over Russia on 15 February." The NEOSSat
spacecraft, which launches February 25, "will search for and catalogue
the thousands of asteroids larger than 500 metres that we think are zooming
around unnoticed," although CSA's Denis Laurin noted it would not have
been able to observe the object that hit Russia. While the spacecraft is small,
"NEOSSat's lofty position in space should allow it to spot asteroids headed
our way during the day, when they would otherwise disappear in the glare of
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