“I didn’t get into space or transportation or solar because I saw them as good [investment] opportunities. I saw them as places where something needed to be done.”
Elon Musk, SXSW
New Gigantic Telescopes Will Crack the Secrets of the Skies
At projected costs ranging from $900 million to $1.6 billion each, the Giant Magellan Telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope and the European Extremely Large Telescope — which will have segmented mirrors measuring 24.5 meters, 30 meters and 39.3 meters across, respectively — will dwarf existing optical telescopes (the current largest is 10.4 meters).
Scientists hope the competing telescopes — all expected to be running within a decade — will enable them to observe the early universe… “We’re basically talking about the gap between 100 million and 500 million years after the universe began; that’s the time when the first stars and chemical elements and black holes and other exotica came into existence for the first time.”
NASA has now mapped every single square inch of Mercury.
Dennis Tito, the millionaire investment whiz who became the first paying passenger to visit the International Space Station in 2001, is said to be planning a privately backed, 501-day mission to Mars in 2018. […]
Tito, a former rocket engineer, made his fortune as the founder of Wilshire Associates, a multibillion-dollar investment firm based in California. He made history in 2001 when he paid a reported $20 million for a ride aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the space station. At the time, the eight-day round trip was highly controversial and required changes in the policies governing space station operations. Since then, six other high-net-worth individuals have taken similar flights with little or no controversy. The current published price for such flights is upwards of $40 million. [photo]