February 06, 2018
Elon Musk has disrupted the business of sending rockets into space, and hopes to achieve a milestone by testing the most powerful rocket currently operating in the world today.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — After facing early failures and skeptical attitudes, SpaceX has disrupted the business of launching rockets into space by combining cut-rate prices with the routine recovery of used rocket boosters. On Tuesday, the company, founded by Elon Musk, hopes to achieve a new milestone with a successful test launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket, which would be the most powerful rocket in operation in the world today.
Mr. Musk’s ultimate goal — sending people to MARS — requires inventing businesses and profits that do not exist today. He also may be angling for the federal government to help pay his way.
Whatever the case, the Falcon Heavy is SpaceX’s next step in aiming beyond the existing launch business and demonstrating that it can do more than place communications satellites in orbit and haul cargo for NASA to the International Space Station.

What exactly is SpaceX launching?
The Falcon Heavy rocket is essentially a turbocharged version of SpaceX’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket. It is the same height and its central booster looks the same. But attached on the sides are two additional Falcon 9 boosters, which triples the thrust at liftoff. That means that the Heavy will be able to lift far heavier payloads, up to 140,000 pounds, to low-Earth orbit.
The rocket is sitting on Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. That’s the same starting point of some of NASA’s most famous achievements, including Apollo 11 in 1969, the first mission that took astronauts to the moon, and the first space shuttle launch in 1981.

When are they launching it and how can I watch?
SpaceX will broadcast the launch on its website, spacex.com, beginning at 1:10 p.m. Eastern, and on YouTube. We’ll add the live video feed to this page once it becomes available.
The launch window is from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern. Weather forecasts call for an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, or if some technical glitch postpones the launch, SpaceX has a second opportunity on Wednesday, also between 1:30 and 4:00 p.m. (If that happens, you can sign up for The Times’s Space Calendar to get a reminder.)
“The weather is looking good,” said Elon Musk, the founder and chief executive of SpaceX at a news conference on Monday. “The rocket is looking good.”

Why is the Falcon Heavy launch important??
The Falcon Heavy will be able to lift more payload than any other American rocket since the Saturn 5, the gargantuan rocket that NASA used for the Apollo moon landings. (The space shuttle also had more liftoff thrust, but less payload capacity, because most of the thrust went into lifting the orbiter.) It is also the first time that a commercial company has developed such a large rocket without any government financing.
The Falcon Heavy will allow SpaceX to bid on missions for the Air Force for some spy satellites that are too heavy for the Falcon 9, and it could be useful to NASA for launching large space probes. Some think it could even serve as a replacement for the Space Launch System, a gigantic rocket NASA is currently developing for carrying astronauts on deep space missions, to the moon and eventually Mars.
In terms of SpaceX’s core business, it’s less important than when the company first announced it seven years ago because of improvements the company made to the Falcon 9. That rocket can now carry considerably heavier payloads.

What will Falcon Heavy carry into space?
The payload is Mr. Musk’s cherry red Roadster from Tesla, his electric car company.

Test rockets typically carry a dummy payload, and Mr. Musk said he wanted to do something more fun. There are three cameras on the Roadster. “They should provide some epic views if they work,” Mr. Musk said.
That’s a more ambitious payload than what was on the Falcon 9 flight that carried the first Dragon cargo capsule in 2010. For that one, SpaceX put a wheel of cheese aboard.

Will the car get to Mars?
When Mr. Musk first posted on Twitter his intent to send a car on the Heavy launch, he said the destination was “Mars orbit.” The car will not go into orbit around Mars. Rather the second stage of the Heavy is to fire three times to send the car on an elliptical orbit around the sun that extends as far out as Mars, and that car could remain in orbit for hundreds of millions of years. At times, it might pass very close to Mars, and Mr. Musk said there was an “extremely tiny” chance that it could crash into Mars.

What could go wrong?
According to Mr. Musk, a lot. “This is a test mission,” he said. “There is so much that can go wrong.”
As long as the rocket gets high enough so that any explosions do not damage the launchpad, Mr. Musk said he would regard that as a success. (The propellant on the rocket at launch will have the explosive energy of four million pounds of TNT, he said.)
Damage from a launchpad explosion would take nine to 12 months to repair, Mr. Musk estimated. When a Falcon 9 exploded on the launchpad at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in September 2016, the pad was out of commission for more than a year
Mr. Musk said he is usually “super stressed” the day before a launch, but this time, “I feel quite giddy and happy.” He added that perhaps that was a bad sign.
He put chances of a complete success — the rocket taking off, successfully launching its payload and then landing its three boosters back on Earth — at one-half to two-thirds.
A test firing of the Falcon Heavy’s 27 engines at the launchpad in January showed that SpaceX knows how to ignite all of them — nine in each of the three boosters — at once.
The greatest unknown is the aerodynamical interactions of the three boosters as they accelerate though through the sound barrier during ascent, with shock waves bouncing between them. The system to separate the side boosters also has not yet been tested in flight.
Once all of the boosters have dropped off, and the second stage engine starts, the greatest challenges will have passed.
But not all.
The second stage will coast for six hours, part of the orbital maneuvers needed to position it for the journey away from Earth. In the process, it will pass through the Van Allen radiation belts, the energetic charged particles caught in Earth’s magnetic field. SpaceX has not performed such a long coast for a second stage before, and there could be glitches like the freezing of the fuel. The Van Allen belts could also cause electrical glitches.
SpaceX will also try to recover all three boosters. The two side boosters are to set down on land at Cape Canaveral while the central booster will head toward a floating platform in the Atlantic.
“I’d say tune in,” Mr. Musk said. “It’s going to be worth your time.”
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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