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Elon Musk unveils SpaceX’s new ship that will carry humans to Mars and beyond

Elon Musk just revealed the plans for SpaceX’s new Interplanetary Transport System — a giant spacecraft designed to carry humans to Mars and beyond. The idea behind this spacecraft, Musk said, is to make humans a multi-planetary species. At first, the ITS will carry about 100 people in one trip, but tickets will be very expensive.

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This Is How Elon Musk Plans to Build a City on Mars [Updating]
“I know there’s a lot of people in the private sector interested in funding a trip to Mars, hopefully there will be interest in the government side as well,” he said. “Ultimately this will be a huge private-public partnership.”
By Ria Misra

SpaceX plans to build a “self-sustaining city” on Mars, company founder Elon Musk announced today. Here’s what we know about how they plan to do it.

Musk dropped the news during an address at the International Astronautical Congress meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he had promised to reveal how the company planned to send people to Mars—and how it would keep them alive once they got there. Today, we finally got the first news of how he intended to do that.

“I don’t have an immediate doomsday prophecy,” said Musk, but noted that he saw only two possible paths forward. “One path is to stay on Earth forever and there will be some extinction event. The alternative is to become a multi-planetary species, which I hope you will agree is the right way to go.”

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The largest radio telescope ever built will reveal parts of the universe we’ve never seen

Is anybody out there? We might find out soon. The world’s largest radio telescope is now up and running in China, and it’s already searching for undiscovered stars and galaxies. It will take about three years to get the telescopes calibrated, but once it’s tuned up, it could help us discover one of astronomy’s greatest unsolved mysteries.

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M81 - Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major

One of the most stunning and brightest galaxies of the northern hemisphere is M81, a classic grand design spiral galaxy with uniform swirling arms which measures two-thirds of the full-moon in diameter and lies 11.8 million light-years away in the circumpolar constellation of Ursa Major. 

Credit: Anthony Ayiomamitis

Earth’s Water Is Older Than The Sun

Since water is one of the vital ingredients for life on Earth, scientists want to know how it got here. One theory is that the water in our solar system was created in the chemical afterbirth of the Sun. If that were the case, it would suggest that water might only be common around certain stars that form in certain ways. But a new study, published today in Science, suggests that at least some of Earth’s water actually existed before the Sun was born – and that it came from interstellar space.

That’s certainly something to ponder the next time you drink a glass of water. But the discovery is also cool because it means water – and maybe life – may be ubiquitous throughout the galaxy.

“If water in the early Solar System was primarily inherited as ice from interstellar space, then it is likely that similar ices, along with the prebiotic organic matter that they contain, are abundant in most or all protoplanetary disks around forming stars,“ study author Conel Alexander explained in a press release.

The researchers concluded that a significant portion of Earth’s water came from interstellar space by looking at the relative abundance of hydrogen and deuterium.

Read more ~ Popular Science

Image: A Star Is Born. Some of Earth’s water started out in an interstellar cloud (top left) that later got incorporated into the fledgling solar system.
   Credit: Bill Saxton, NSF/AUI/NRAO