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The top 15 billionaires in America had their net worth grow 57% on average in the period. The artist recreates his indestructible works that traveled to space for three months aboard the SpaceX Dragon.
A SpaceX Dragon cargo resupply spacecraft returned to Earth from the International Space Station Wednesday (Jan. 13), splashing down off the coast of Florida for the first time ever. After a one-day delay due to bad weather at the splashdown zone, the upgraded vehicle autonomously undocked from the space station for the first time on Tuesday (Jan. 12), and it splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico west of Tampa about 35 hours later, at 8:26 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 13 (0126 Jan. 14 GMT).
Previous Cargo Dragons have relied on astronauts operating the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to grapple the spacecraft and berth it with the orbiting lab. SpaceX's Dragon, however, is a reusable spacecraft designed to safely deliver science experiments back to Earth from the space station.
SpaceX's robotic Dragon capsule splashes down in the Pacific Ocean on May 21, 2015, bringing an end to the company's 6th cargo mission to the International Space Station for NASA. (Image credit: SpaceX)Some scientific cargo on board includes engineered heart tissue, organics grown from human stem cells, biofilms that could corrode stainless steel, zero-g fiber optics and more.
Moon rope astronaut white When SpaceX chose a tiny waterfront community at the southern tip of Texas in 2014 to house its newest facility, it said the consequences for residents would be manageable.
Those effects would be outweighed by the “hundreds of high-tech jobs,” business benefits and tourists that would come to the Texas site, SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said in 2014. For SpaceX, the expansion provides a secluded testing ground for its new Mars spaceship, as well as a private launch site where the company can work on its own terms and schedule.
For residents, it’s a difficult bargain: a payout in exchange for giving up a life of peace and seclusion near the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. “I really thought I would be able to stay until my last days,” said resident Maria Pointer, who lives close to the SpaceX facility and received a buyout offer.
But by 2019, planned operations at the site changed to include short “hops” of the Starship prototype and other tests, according to a May reevaluation of a 2014 environmental impact statement. The FAA concluded that noise from the Starship operations would have no “significant” impact on Boca Chica Village.
The report does not cover more advanced tests planned for Boca Chica in which the prototype would be launched to 320,000 feet before returning to the ground. Its duties could one day include routine satellite launches, carrying billionaires on tourist trips around the moon, and ferrying up to 100 humans at a time to colonize Mars.
“They see this area as a potentially lucrative launch site for some or most of the work they’re intending to do,” said Marco CACEIS, senior space analyst at market research firm Teal Group. Dogleg Park, a subsidiary of SpaceX, currently owns 112 parcels of land in Cameron County, most of which are in the Boca Chica area.
The company said that it was “committed to retaining maximum flexibility” and that it would allow residents “rent-free access for an agreeable period” to give them time to make necessary arrangements. But legal experts say the company could go to county officials and ask them to make the properties subject to eminent domain.
And the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corp. has the authority to declare eminent domain, though Seraph said SpaceX has never discussed using this power. It would be “politically risky” for a public authority in Texas to declare eminent domain on residents’ property, said Andrew Morris's, dean of the school of innovation at Texas A&M University, who co-led a research project on eminent domain law in 50 states.
“It’s something that the state itself is wrestling with,” said Ryan James, associate professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Texas at San Antonio. At Boca Chica, SpaceX could call the shots and control its test and launch schedule, said Ramon Lugo, director of the University of Central Florida’s Florida Space Institute and former deputy program manager of Kennedy Space Center’s launch services program.
Pointer balked at the appraisal of her property cited by SpaceX, saying it didn’t account for specific attributes of her home, such as the scenic views from her windows and its size. She said she and her husband spent years building out their home by digging out a driveway, planting papaya and lime trees and growing a garden.