Friday, April 21, 2023


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Starship was launched last Thursday.

Starship is a super heavy-lift launch vehicle under development by SpaceX, Elon Musk.

At 119 m (390 ft) in height and with a liftoff mass of 5,000 metric tons (11,000,000 lb), Starship is the largest and most powerful launch vehicle ever flown, and the first intended to be fully reusable.[2]

Starship vehicles in orbit can be refilled with propellant launched with additional Starships to enable transit to higher energy destinations such as geosynchronous orbit, the Moon, and Mars.

Starship is designed to eventually carry up to 100 astronauts.

Starship with Super Heavy, the booster

Starships SN15 and SN 16

The largest and most powerful rocket ever built, its makers hoping that it will be the first step on a human journey to Mars, Staship blasted off from Texas but blew up within minutes in a test flight.

Starship started to spin at altitude before exploding about four minutes after leaving the ground. It appeared that the two sections of the rocket system – the booster and cruise vessel – were unable to separate properly after takeoff, possibly causing the spacecraft to fail.

SpaceX said in a statement afterward that the spacecraft "experienced multiple engines out" during its ascent, then "lost altitude and began to tumble," before the "flight termination system was commanded on both the booster and the ship."

SpaceX had previously cautioned that the chances of success were low and that the aim of the test flight was to gather data, regardless of whether the full mission was achieved. Employees at SpaceX cheered even after the rocket disintegrated.

Unlike NASA, which attempts to avoid risk, SpaceX has a record of showing a willingness to have test flights explode, with Musk saying the private venture benefits from understanding what goes wrong. Several other Starships are already in production for future tests.

Musk said he developed Starship, previously named the BFR (heavily hinted to mean Big Fucking Rocket), so that humans can eventually become an interplanetary species. To do this, he intends to begin the colonisation of Mars, which he said is needed to preserve humanity in case a planet-destroying event, such as nuclear war or an asteroid strike, wipes out life on Earth.

Primary source:



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Bodyguard in Manchester

A performance of The Bodyguard musical in the UK ended unexpectedly early on Friday when some audience members could not refrain from singing along to the anthemic finale.

Two unruly patrons were ejected from the performance at the Palace Theatre in Manchester for joining the lead performer in singing I Will Always Love You — the soaring, emotional ballad written by Dolly Parton and made famous by Whitney Houston — which ends the musical.

Organisers had warned audience members the performance was not supposed to be a singalong. Ushers carried signs saying, "Please refrain from singing" and announcements were made in advance that patrons would have a chance to join along at the end but not to sing during the show, an audience member, Tash Kenyon, said.

During the closing number, somebody shouted: "Does this mean we can start singing now?" Ms Kenyon said.

An audience member's voice projected from the balcony and competed with the vocals of Melody Thornton, a former member of The Pussycat Dolls, as she sang the finale.

Melody Thrnton

Laughter then turned to anger and confusion, audience member Karl Bradley told the Manchester Evening News.

"The stage then just went black again and that's when it really started to kick off on the higher tier, you could really hear screams and audible gasps," Mr Bradley said. "Everyone starting standing up and looking over. There was chants of 'out, out, out' to get them gone." When the lights came up, the singing audience members were hauled out of their seats by theatre security and the remaining audience members began cheering.

However, the musical did not recommence.


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Phantom and Broadway

After 35 years and nearly 14,000 performances, the music of the night is officially over.

The final production of The Phantom of the Opera, Broadway’s longest-running show, took place over the weekend at the Majestic Theatre. The show ended with a reprise of “The Music of the Night” performed by current and past cast and crew members—including Sarah Brightman who originated the role of Christine Daaé.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, the show’s composer, dedicated the final show to his son, Nicholas, who died last month of gastric cancer.

Cast members take the stage during the last performance of The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

Some fans, however, speculate that the production may one day return to Broadway. “Having been a producer for over 55 years, I’ve seen all the great musicals return, and Phantom is one of the greatest,” says Cameron Mackintosh, the show’s lead producer, per Variety. “So it’s only a matter of time.”

Smithsonian Magazine

Which leads me to my own story about Phantom.

Years ago when she was still with us, I took my my mother to see Phantom, then running in Sydney.

As everyone knew, well everyone except my mother, the chandelier falls at the end of the first Act.

We had seats right behind the centre of the orchestra pit, couldn’t be any closer to the stage.  My mother was captivated, she hadn’t been to a live theatre performance for some time, especailly one as glorious as Phantom.

As the spurned Phantom promised devastation on an unimgainable scale at the end of the first Act, the chandlier suddenly came loose from its central location above the audience and swung down to the stage. Needless to say, the closest it came to any audience member was above my mother’s head. Simultaneously with the theatre going black, my mother’s loud voice called out “OH, SHIT!!!

I pointed out to her during intermission that everyone knew that the chandelier falls, having been so well publicised and the production having been on for some time. She said “I didn’t know.”

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