SpaceX is super-cooling its rocket fuel— why that could be a problem

For nearly a year, SpaceX has been trying out something new: super-cooling the liquid oxygen (LOX) which is a key ingredient in rocket fuel. It’s called deep-cryo LOX, and the idea has been around since NASA began designing rockets over 60 years ago. But no one has had the guts to actually fly rockets regularly with deep-cryo LOX.

We spoke with associate professor of aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech, Mitchell Walker, to understand why SpaceX chills its LOX cooler than anyone else and whether or not this is a good idea.

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Tesla Model 3 may be delayed until the end of 2018

One of the biggest and most important questions currently surrounding Tesla is whether or not the company will be able to manufacture its highly anticipated Model 3 at scale and begin deliveries on time. While Tesla vehemently maintains that Model 3 deliveries will begin in earnest in late 2017, there are more than a few reasons to be skeptical.

For starters, Tesla has a long history of making delivery promises it simply can’t keep, with the delayed launch of the Model X being a prime example. Second, demand for the Model 3 is unlike Tesla has every seen before, with the number of reservations likely falling somewhere in the 400,000 range. Third, manufacturing the Model 3, while technically less complex a job compared to the Model X, requires that the company’s gargantuan Gigafactory in Nevada will be able to churn out battery packs as quickly as possible.

Speaking to Tesla’s bold manufacturing ambitions, the company for the longest time said it wanted to reach a manufacturing capacity of 500,000 vehicles by 2020. A few months ago, however, Tesla said that it was pushing that timeline ahead and now hopes to reach that milestone by 2018.

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Gaze in awe at Elon Musk’s historic 156-foot erection

In usual Musk fashion another project has been delayed.

Musk had always promised to get his rocket up for all to see, but the plan was delayed In because the factory is so close to Hawthorne Municipal Airport and the FAA was worried about the flight risk. It will join the company’s first Dragon capsule to make it back to earth on permanent display, although that hardware is stored inside the facility.

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