Elon Musk has released a new proposal for becoming a multi-planet species. He is advocating phasing out Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon in favor of SpaceX’s BFR (Big F*****g Rocket-yes, really) project, which can serve as Mars transport, Lunar transport, ISS transport, and satellite delivery as well as SST Earth transport. The rockets will be reusable, bigger and cheaper to operate than any other rocket system ever. Supposedly. Musk says SpaceX can send the first two to Mars by 2022, and send four more to Mars, with explorers, by 2024. He also thinks he has a way to pay for this: Continued satellite launch services and ISS transport services.
The James Webb Space Telescope launch postponed until 2019. It was originally scheduled for launch in 2010/2011, then October 2018. Now due to payload integration schedule challenges, Spring 2019 looks like the next target period for launch. It’s critically important to get everything not just right, but perfect. Unlike many other missions that have allowed software uplinks and upgrades well into the mission after leaving Earth and even on-orbit servicing at 400 miles up as with HST, the JWST will be 930,000 miles up, well out of reach for any kind of servicing.
With sunset coming so much earlier now and the evening temps staying comfortable, you should find a way to get out to see a dark evening sky, especially the Milky Way. We’re viewing it almost on-edge as we look down toward Sagittarius.