On February 6, 2018, between 1:30pm and 4:30pm EST, SpaceX plans to launch its Falcon Heavy launch vehicle for the first time, after having successfully tested the rocket in a January 24 static engine test at Cape Canaveral. For those not familiar with SpaceX, it is the rocket company founded by Elon Musk (perhaps better known as a co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors). This launch will mark another stage in the progress of Musk’s efforts to move towards launching people to Mars in the coming decades. The Falcon Heavy rocket is capable of producing twice the thrust and lifting payloads twice as large as the next best current launch system, and is expected to be the launch platform for the Dragon crew capsule which potentially may bring astronauts to the ISS or on other missions (eventually, Mars).
Click this link to listen to Booklets, Episode 2.
A related episode of Book of Nature featured discussions between Dan Dawson and me on the broader topic of private companies and participation in space exploration. You can find that episode at this link.