Starman Keeps on Cruising... to the Asteroid Belt Print E-mail

Space Waves

February 8, 2018

In the past I've described Elon Musk as irrepressible. I'm not sure that is a strong enough depiction.Starman 1

Following a brilliant launch on February 6 of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy into bright blue skies, eight minutes later the pair of F-9 rockets landed side by side at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, deploying legs and coming to rest on twin pads. A pair of synchronized giant candles dropping from the heavens. The rockets unleashed powerful sonic booms that echoed across the Space Coast.

Onboard the historic flight was Musk's personal 2009 Tesla, an all-electric, cherry red, rag-top roadster encapsulated in the rocket's upper protective fairing. Within a half-hour after liftoff, SpaceX's three cameras began beaming live views of car back to Earth. That webcast lasted 4 hours and 39 minutes before going offline.

The images showed "Starman," a mannequin driver with his left hand guiding the wheel, barreling through the blackness of space with the shimmering sight of planet Earth in the rear view mirror. Starman is wearing the white spacesuit and helmet that astronauts will wear on SpaceX flights to the International Space Station. Accompanying the $100,000 roadster's voyage is the music of David Bowie's "Life on Mars" and "Space Oddity" playing at full volume on a continuous loop.

Behemoth Falcon Heavy Rocket Ready to Go Print E-mail

Space Waves

February 1, 2018

It's showtime! Falcon Heavy -- the most powerful operational rocket in the world-- is set to blast off as soon as February 6 with a three-hour launch window opening at 1:30 p.m.FH Launchpad

It will be the biggest, brightest launch from the Kennedy Space Center since the last Space Shuttle flight. Standing an enormous 229 feet and measuring 40 feet wide, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy will produce a 5.1 million pound force of thrust at lift off, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. That is more lift capacity than any U.S. launch since the last Saturn V in the 1970s, according to SpaceX.

“Aiming for first flight of Falcon Heavy on Feb. 6 from Apollo launch pad 39A at Cape Kennedy. Easy viewing from the public causeway,” SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted on January 28.

People will be flocking to Florida's Space Coast for the test flight. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has called the event “one of the most anticipated launches in recent history.” Tickets to watch from within a few miles of the launch, priced at $195 each, have already sold out. The viewing party features a champagne toast and a commemorative glass.

Cape Canaveral Launch Numbers Expected to Soar Print E-mail

Space Waves

January 2018

It's shaping up to be a banner year for launches on the Space Coast.Koreasat 01A

Cape Canaveral could see as many as 35 launches in 2018, a significant jump from 19 last year. The number includes several submarine-launched Trident missiles. However, as past years would indicate that number could drop a bit due to weather and hardware issues.

"I can't imagine, short of the time back in the 60s and 70s, when there was a better time to be in this business," Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith said during a packed National Space Club Florida Committee luncheon at the Radisson Resort at the Port on January 9 as reported by Florida Today.

"One quarter of all the launches in the world come from the Eastern Range that's pretty darn remarkable considering we are in the lightning capital of America."

Smarty's Army a Huge Success Print E-mail

Surfrider Foundation

January 14, 2018

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny and by 8:45 a crush of volunteers were rambling down the wooden steps by the Aquarina Beach Club swarming on to southern Melbourne Beach.

SmartyCleanUp 3

A mighty thanks to all of our enthusiastic volunteers and supporters who helped make the first "Smarty's Army" Coastal Clean Up a huge success last Saturday, January 13. We had a remarkable turn-out of 77 participants who combed and scoured the beach. Men, women and kids grabbed their clean-up bags and brought back a jumble of plastic and foam debris, shoes and sandals, children's toys and balloons, a street sign, hefty hunks of cement and wooden pier boards, tree trunks and heaven knows what else. All were inventoried the Surfrider tent. A special shout out to the AQ's sledge-hammer swinging and circular saw carving guys.

Bell and Buddha, yellow and black labs, romped up and down the beach and swam in the ocean, while several pods of dolphins glided by not far off shore. We organized the beach clean-up to honor Smarty, our fun-loving Toller retriever who left us at the end of September.

The British are Coming! Print E-mail

Vero Beach Magazine

January 2018

When it came to super-cool cars in motion pictures, nobody did it better.CarShow 1

The fictional British spy James Bond was first introduced to his silver Aston Martin DB5 in the 1964 blockbuster Goldfinger. With Sean Connery behind the wheel the DB5 caused quite a stir, not only because of its timeless beauty but also all its lethal gadgets. Dubbed the most famous car in the world, the DB5 was almost as big a star as Connery. It has appeared in a half-dozen 007 movies.

For this year's Motor Car Exhibition at McKee Botanical Gardens, Aston Martins will be well represented along with Jaguars, MGs, Austin-Healys, Triumphs, Rolls Royces, Bentleys and a host of other intriguing British cars on Saturday, February 10.

The weather is typically gorgeous, the cars stunning. Elaborately dressed entrants picnic alongside their vintage cars with blankets and wicker baskets. The car aficionados come together to show off their prized treasures-- perhaps a family heirloom or just a reminder of high school glory days when cars were made of steel, leather and wood. There's nothing quite like the joy of owning these delightful driving machines.

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