Elon Musk continues on the cutting edge of science

Published 8:15 am Saturday, February 13, 2021

Elon Musk is a wild and crazy man, but he has sure has accomplished a lot.
One of his statements that I remember was saying that he intended to die on Mars.
One of his major projects is SpaceX.
He recently made the news about a way station for the Artemis moon project. I doubt if you have heard about it yet. I have not seen in the papers or TV news.
He has been awarded a $331 million contract to use the Heavy Falcon Rockets in 2024 to launch two pieces of a station patterned after the International Space Station (ISS) into an orbit around the moon.
This will be assembled to provide a way station for the astronauts going to and from the moon surface. NASA calls it Gateway Lunar Outpost.
In May 2002, Elon founded The Space Exploration Technology Corporation which came to be known as SpaceX.
He started it with $100 million from some of his successful ventures. He thought he could build a rocket cheaper than anyone else. He failed in his first three launches.
As someone once said, learn from your failures, and I guess he did.
He launched the Falcon 1 in 2008, which was the first commercial liquid fueled rocket to achieve an earth orbit. Later that same year, he received a $1.6 billion contract to make 12 launches to resupply the ISS.
The greatest feat of SpaceX in my opinion was the successful transport of astronauts to and from the ISS.
This is the first time this has been done since the shuttle program was shut down.
NASA still does not have complete confidence in either SpaceX or Boeing to continue to transport our astronauts, they are currently planning to buy a seat on the next Russian rocket to the ISS.
One innovation that has saved a lot of money on launches is the reuse of the rocket booster.
The boosters have these very big, expensive pumps to pump the fuel and oxidizer to the rocket engines. SpaceX has recovered the same booster for reuse eight times by landing it on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX is now contemplating flying the booster back to the launching pad where an arm would be used to grab it and set it back on the launching pad.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is seen by Musk as a threat to humanity.
He has founded a company to develop AI in a way to be beneficial to all humanity. He was concerned with the possibility of large corporations and governments using it gain power and oppress citizens.
He left the company in 2018 because of possible conflicts with Tesla.
Some people think that he is “unbalanced.”
In his personal life, he had a series of wives and companions and has six living sons.
His first son died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The last child, which he had with the Canadian musician Grimes, has an unusual name, X AE A-XII Musk.
X is his first name.

Don Lee, a pilot flying out of Lawrence County Airport since 1970, has been in charge of equipment and grounds maintenance for the last several years.
He can be reached at eelnod22@gmail.com

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