SpaceX Thanksgiving Launch: Start of Private Manned Space Flight in Florida
On a normal day, mere mortals like you might go to Publix, chill in your cubicles for eight or nine hours, go home and catch a few reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond. (OK, Homeland).
Bruno Sanchez-Andrade via Wikimedia Commons Soon to be a manned space capsule: The SpaceX Dragon
But possible-genius and business it-boy Elon Musk juggles his multiple companies -- Tesla, the ultra-sleek electric car maker; and SpaceX, the private spacecraft company. This is after starting and selling PayPal, and while also disrupting the electricity business, and inventing an ultra-high-speed train called the Hyperloop. (To say nothing of parenting six children, sparring with the national media, and marrying and divorcing a series of high-achieving women.)
On Thursday, while you are in the midst of a turkey-coma, Musk will be overseeing a dinner-time rocket launch in Cape Canaveral -- what the company calls its "most challenging mission to date."
During Thursday's launch, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will bring a satellite to "geostationary transfer orbit" -- meaning that, as the Earth rotates, the satellite will also travel around the Earth, staying above a fixed point. This satellite will be part of a communication system for Asia. It will be operated by a Luxembourg-based company, SES World Skies, and provide TV and internet services.
The launch had been scheduled for Monday, but was scrubbed. Musk tweeted:
Saw pressure fluctuations on Falcon boost stage liquid oxygen tank. Want to be super careful, so pushing launch to Thurs.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 26, 2013
Last year, the company delivered cargo to and from the International Space Station, and the company has more than $1b in contracts with NASA for more such deliveries. A stated goal of SpaceX is to re-start manned space missions. Musk has said that he wants to die on Mars -- "just not on impact."