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Elon Musk Will Put Humans on Mars Much Sooner Than We Think, Astronaut Says

The first space race of the 21st century has Mars as its finish line. While victory is still likely years, even decades away, Elon Musk and SpaceX have made the most tangible progress toward the red planet, and one person with plenty of first-hand expertise in all things space thinks the company could get us to Mars sooner than anybody would have guessed.

British astronaut Tim Peake, who has spent 185 days aboard the International Space Station, offered his thoughts on the future of Martian exploration at a recent event organized by the charity Aerobility. He said the first humans on Mars will likely get there in about two decades, if government agencies remain the main drivers, but there’s a chance private spaceflight could accelerate that timeline.

“Humans on Mars, I think will be the late 2030s,” said Peake. “That’s what the government space agencies and the International Space Exploration Group are working towards. It could be that some of [these people’s] programs bring that date forward. But, the late 2030s would be a realistic time frame. What could throw a big bowling ball through all that is commercial spaceflight.”

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Musk and SpaceX aren’t the only players in the commercial field, of course. There are Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic, Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin, and more conventional private contractors for government projects, like Boeing and Lockheed Martin. But Musk’s company has raced ahead of its competitors in demonstrating the actual practical usability of its rocket technology, especially after last month’s Falcon Heavy launch.

“We have seen the ambitions of people like Elon Musk,” said Peake. “There are several other companies that also have ambitions to send people to Mars. I think that we will end up working very closely with these companies in public-private partnerships when we eventually go to Mars.”

That idea of public-private partnerships is an intriguing one. For his part, Musk has spoken exclusively about SpaceX when detailing his plans for Mars. A partnership with NASA on a Mars mission — perhaps one where NASA astronauts and terrestrial support staff conduct a mission using one of SpaceX’s planned BFR craft to get to the red planet — is certainly conceivable, but it’s not the plan right now.

Still, such a plan could prove the most effective way to combine SpaceX’s cutting-edge rocket tech with NASA’s institutional experience, but that’s not the plan right now. It’s also possible that NASA or another space agency — like Peake’s own European Space Agency — could team with another private spaceflight company, assuming Musk plans to go it alone.

The point is, though, that all those possibilities suggest an acceleration of government agencies’ current plans for spaceflight. If the set target is the late 2030s, it’s possible market competition could knock several years off that, especially if SpaceX can find the same success with the BFR that it did last month with the Falcon Heavy.

Media via SpaceX

Google Stadia: Price, Release Date, Features, Titles for the Streaming Service

A glimpse at the future of gaming.

Stadia, Google’s long-awaited cloud gaming service, was finally unveiled at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco on Tuesday. In one fell swoop, Stadia, once known as Project Stream, laid out a plan to take on console giants— like Sony and Microsoft — the PC-gaming industry, and even the live streaming platform, Twitch.

New AirPods 2019: Release Date, Price, and Features for Apple's Half-Update

Apple delivers on anticipated upgrades.

New AirPods completed Apple’s gadget-drop hat trick and there might be even more to come. The Cupertino-based company’s sprint of daily product drops continued with an update to the widely popular AirPods. The new AirPods followed announcements of two new iPads and a line of new iMacs.

It’s unlikely that this is indeed the AirPods 2 redesign that’s long been rumored. But in the meanwhile, Apple has delivered on a handful of new features that have long been predicted by analysts and wished for by fans. Better battery life, voice assistant improvements, and a wireless charging case have all been introduced to the AirPods, though there have been essentially no aesthetic changes at all.

Google Stadia Price: How Streaming Service Could Beat xCloud and PS Now

The service faces tough competition.

Google is joining a tough market. The world’s largest search engine announced on Tuesday plans to enter video games with Stadia, a streaming platform designed to eliminate the need for expensive hardware. While Google has removed one payment from the gaming equation, details about any further payments were notably missing from the presentation.

Apple Announcement 2019: AirPods, iPods, and AirPower Coming This Week?

Apple may be about to launch even more products.

Apple has had a bumper week of product launches so far, and it could continue the momentum by making even more surprise announcements. In a week that saw the release of two new iPad models on Monday and new versions of the iMac Tuesday, talk is turning to other rumored products like the AirPods wireless headphones, AirPower charging mat and a new iPod Touch.

The Best Wireless Earbuds for Audio Quality

What truly wireless earbuds are actually worth your time?

Filed Under Amazon, Apple & Music

While we’ve been well on our way to a truly wireless existence (I’m looking at you, umbilical cord) in almost every facet of our life, the “truly wireless” headphone segment has been dominated by Apple’s AirPods, and for good reason. They’re the headphones to beat when it comes to ease of use, and seemingly every manufacturer is trying to best Apple with their own AirPod alternative.