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Taryn Ziegler

Taryn Ziegler is a graduate from the University of Washington Bothell with a degree in Culture, Literature, and the Arts. She currently works as an independent content writer and literature reviewer, and she adores being able to create valuable content with the English language for a living.

How to do Thanksgiving stargazing

Stargaze planets visible to the eye before turkey day

If you can brave the crisp cold of November evenings, step outside sometime between now and Thanksgiving to get some star gazing done and look at some planets. There are five planets that are visible to the naked eye while Thanksgiving star gazing, depending on their positions. These planets are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Of the five, three are currently visible to the naked eye during a stargazing session, and only at certain times of the day.


Also called the “Morning Star,” Venus glimmers brightly at the end of the night and just before sunrise. Venus rises four hours before the end of the sun and is located around 30 degrees about the southeast horizon. Venus is the second planet from the sun and is the brightest object in the night sky after the moon. A layer of clouds made of sulfuric acid obscures the surface of the planet, and Venus’ atmospheric pressure is 92 times greater than Earth’s.


During the later hours of the night and at dawn Mars becomes visible while Thanksgiving stargazing. The Red Planet is decorated by the brighter Jupiter and Venus which hang above it in the sky. It is significantly dimmer than the other two and has a reddish appearance. Mars is a terrestrial planet fourth from the sun with an atmosphere made mostly of carbon dioxide. The largest dust storms in the solar system can be found on The Red Planet.


Also in the period of time at the latter end of the evening and dawn, Jupiter can be found high in the southeast above Venus. Jupiter, the Gas Giant, is two and a half times bigger than all of the other planets in our solar system combined. It is the fifth planet from the sun and has 67 known moons. While Venus still trumps Jupiter’s brightness by far, the Gas Giant comes in as the fourth brightest planet in the system.

Hidden from Sight

Mercury and Saturn won’t reappear until December. Mercury is currently too close to the sun to be visible and will be passing behind the sun on November 17th. Saturn is also too near the sun to be visible and will pass behind it on November 30th. Saturn will be back in the morning sky in late December, while Mercury will be visible in the evening sky.

Forget Your Telescope

Leave your astronomy gear behind when you go out to take a look at Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. All you need is your open eyes and an open mind to appreciate the rather extraordinary view that the night skies have for you during some Thanksgiving stargazing.

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Introducing Elle B: Real World pop for real world people

The burgeoning artist is set for big things

Authentic humanity meets authentic beats in the seamless fusion that is Elle B’s particular style of “World Pop” music. In a global sound stage rife with lyrics and tunes that veer away from the course of actual life, Elle B brings the music back to the people. Having absorbed an array of cultural melodies throughout her extensive traveling, Elle B is capable of creating music that can grasp the attention equally of a listener in America to a listener in Ethiopia. The lyrics may be in English, but the sound is that of the world, and that world has an uplifting and mesmerizing beat. Welcome to the colorful music that is Elle B’s gift to the global community.

The Woman Behind the Music

Elle B is a vocal powerhouse with talents both in front and behind the conception of her music. A songwriter, producer, and singer all-in-one, Elle B has an extensive history of putting her skillset to use not only for herself but other artists well-known in the music industry. Elle B sang backup for Katy Perry for almost six years and has performed on beloved stages like that of Saturday Night Live, the White House, the Grammys, and the Super Bowl. Not to be limited to the United States alone, Elle B has also lived and sung in London and Ethiopia, as well as traveled in Belgium and France. She now lives in in her hometown of Los Angeles, California, working on her solo musical ventures.

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The Story Behind the Woman

Born and raised in sweltering Los Angeles, California, Elle B was saturated with music from the start. With a mother classically trained in singing, a brother in love with rock music, and a father playing songs from Manhattan Transfer to James Brown, Elle B was surrounded by a family with strong musical inclinations. Elle B herself grew to cherish music, and would eventually harbor a passion for funk, melody, and futuristic production.

Having been exposed to a great deal of diversity and culture in her youth, Elle B continues to weave together strings of different types of music to create a new and cohesive sound. Elle B was accepted to the University of Southern California for a program involving jazz voice and the music industry, but would go on to obtain a degree with a major in political science and a minor in law and public policy. Today, however, she’s returned to her initial passion: singing.

The Music Behind the Story

Heavily influenced by her appreciation for an expansive array of music, Elle B combines thematic elements from different cultures and traditions from around the world; therefore her music generates a genre unto itself, aptly named “World Pop.” Having loved everything from Michael Jackson and Blackstreet to Crystal Lewis and Gladys Knight, Elle B leaves no musical stone unturned when she creates her own sound. Still fond of funky music with awe-inspiring vocals, Elle B combines her personal sound with that of the world that she has traveled and loved. In that way, Elle B’s “World Pop” finds its way back to the people who originally inspired it.

The Noire EP Release

While Elle B’s discography currently includes The Elle B EP (2009) and Until the Light of Day (2011), the newest release is that of the Noire EP (2016), available on iTunes starting April 8. Having only just been introduced to the world on March 29, Noire is a fresh new take on Elle B’s current work and passion. The songs include outrageously catchy tunes like “Death in Rio” and “Giant” and fuse styles like reggae, R&B, and electro soul to Elle B’s rich vocals. Each song is influenced by her experiences in various countries, ranging from Ethiopia to London. “Noire” is French for “black,” and the Noire EP seeks to invite listeners to embrace the bad as the good in their lives, and to recognize and appreciate opposites combining to achieve the ideal balance.

Experience Elle B

Inspired at the age of 13 by Ben Vereen performing “The Impossible Dream,” Elle B has ever since sought to move her listeners through powerful songs and to establish the fact that, after all, we’re all people. To experience Elle B for yourself, visit the Noire website here or take a look at her Facebook page here. A real woman creating music for real people, Elle B will quickly find her way into your musical preferences, and you won’t soon forget her clever blending of cultural styles into the addicting concoction that is her “World Pop.”

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Remembering TV Painter Extraordinaire Bob Ross

Bob Ross and his show The Joy of Painting will forever be a TV staple

Adobe has taken the time in remembering TV painter extraordinaire and his famous show The Joy of Painting, Bob Ross with their iPad Pro drawing tutorials. If you don’t know his name, perhaps you’re at least familiar with some of his mannerisms, or the bushel of permed hair that crowns his head. Bob Ross, a master painter in the wet-on-wet technique, passed away on July 4th, 1995, leaving behind him a legacy of excellence in art and teaching. Bob Ross was no ordinary artist selling his talents on TV; Bob Ross was a unique soul who would uniquely inspire thousands to take up the painter’s brush themselves through his show The Joy of Painting.

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A Military Man

Bob Ross was born in 1942 in Florida, the same state that he would, at the age of 52, pass away in. At age 18 Ross enlisted in the Air Force and found himself stationed at the Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. He began his career as a medical records technician but would rise through the ranks to become the master sergeant of Eielson’s clinic. Ross would later say of his military positions that he often had to be “The guy who makes you scrub the latrine, the guy who makes you make your bed, the guy who screams at you for being late to work.” He claimed that he would never scream again after leaving the military, and given his tranquil and impeccably unperturbed TV demeanor, he likely never did.

A Student

While in Alaska, Bob Ross discovered Bill Alexander and his TV show The Magic of Oil Painting, and would study with him until his retirement from the Air Force. Ross would eventually launch his own TV show, The Joy of Painting, but before its success he had to limit his financial spending. One of his techniques for saving money included perming his hair so he would not have to cut it. He did not like this hairstyle, but as it would quickly become an icon of himself and his particular character, it certainly worked in his favor. Later he would make money marketing his own art supply line, how-to books, and instructional classes.

An Artist

Bob Ross used the wet-on-wet oil painting technique which involves the painter continuously adding wet paint on top of wet paint. Other techniques require you to allow each layer to dry, but this technique gives you the ability to create something quickly, and something uniquely different. Ross used odorless paint thinner for brush cleaning on his one- and two-inch brushes. He also used painting knives, and very little other than that, in order to make it as easy as possible for those following along. Each episode of The Joy of Painting is a marvel unto itself because of this technique. Vague outlines and impressions become shockingly detailed and intricate objects in a matter of seconds as strokes are added on top of one another.

An Inspiration

Almost every episode of The Joy of Painting includes a statement from Bob Ross about how everyone can paint well given the right amount of practice and encouragement. Every episode is also filled to the brim with Ross’ personal quirky style, difficult to describe to those uninitiated. Ross estimated that he created over a staggering 30,000 paintings in his lifetime, and it shows. His work is astounding and simultaneously accessible- beautiful, but doable. Ross made art relatable in a way that no one has since, bringing a hobby to countless people who have used it to enhance the joy and wonder of their own lives. Ross may have passed away from lymphoma in 1995, but his artistic ghost will linger well on into this century.

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Bernie Sanders’ Iowa rally sounds like a Lollapalooza lineup

Bernie Sanders’ Iowa Rally to Include Vampire Weekend, Killer Mike, and Foster the People

Bernie Sanders’ Iowa rally sounds like a Lollapalooza lineup. What? Yes. You read that correctly. If you’ve been reading the bumper sticks floating around the city streets and highways lately, you’ve probably already ascertained that people who normally ignore politics are suddenly giving the presidential election a good, long look, especially with a rally lineup that represents one of the large music festivals. And with the upcoming Iowa rally for Bernie Sanders, there’s no longer any question of it. With Killer Mike, Foster the People, and Vampire Weekend standing behind Bernie Sanders (at least in the musical sense), the 2016 election year is bound to be one for the history books.

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The Rally

January 30th will see Bernie Sanders’ rally in Iowa at the University of Iowa Field House, geared towards swaying the upcoming Iowa Caucus. The rally will be held publically at 6:30 pm and is completely free. A free Vampire Weekend concert? Count me in. And count many people in, to be sure, that live in the state of Iowa. The rally is certain to see an influx of an unprecedented amount of young people typically disinclined to vote, which is a brilliant play on Bernie Sanders’ part.

The Musical Envoy

Killer Mike has already performed duties as a musical ambassador for Bernie Sanders, interviewing him in his barbershop and speaking to the media about him. However, this seems to be the first we’ve seen of artists like Vampire Weekend and Foster the People gathering behind him, and marks an important milestone for the Bernie campaign. There will also be a Bernie Sanders fundraiser held on February 5th and headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers. This one’s in Los Angeles, so, Californians, rejoice.

Music or Politics?

How many people will attend  the Iowa Bernie Sanders rally for the music, and how many for the politics? It’s impossible to know. Regardless, getting people to come to a political rally introduces them to the American system of election and involves them in a way they’ve never been exposed to before. Even if they’re there for something less patriotic than the fluttering banner of red, white, and blue, at least they’re there. And at least they’re taking part in something bigger, something greater, than all of us individually.

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Shovel Knight Game Review

Shovel Knight turns out to be a buried gym

Digging up Shovel Knight will be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll have regarding finding hidden treasure- that is, until you’re digging for gems on Shovel Knight itself. Parading as a retro-style platformer, Shovel Knight pretends that it’s all fun and games. What you won’t discover until you’re already hooked, however, is that Shovel Knight presents a worthy challenge that might just have you up all night and into the next. As subtly merciless as the Dark Souls series, Shovel Knight offers a gaming experience that probably will have you filling the air with equal amounts of curse words and triumphant exclamations.

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Shovel Knight’s Tale of Woe

The plot revolves around Shovel Knight and his desperate search for his beloved Shield Knight. Shovel Knight and Shield Knight traveled the world together, but were separated in the aptly named “Tower of Fate” after a cursed amulet takes over Shield Knight and locks Shovel Knight outside. Shovel Knight puts himself into a forced exile while evil takes over the land in the form of the Enchantress. One day, Shovel Knight hears that the Tower of Fate has been unsealed. He decides to journey forth once again to reclaim Shield Knight and to restore peace and order to a land descended into chaos.

Sounds Heavy…Gameplay?

Shovel Knight begins with, well, a shovel. As you progress through the game you will have the opportunity to collect gems and coins and thus purchase more impressive gear for yourself, including secondary fire wands and magical armor. The gameplay revolves around classical platforming, reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. Don’t be fooled by this vague nostalgic hint. Shovel Knight is far more eager to punish your mistakes, causing you to lose money every time you die and forcing you to forfeit that money entirely if you don’t reclaim it before you die again. The platforming gradually becomes more difficult as the plot moves forward and never really relents. You also may find yourself tripping over your attempts to recreate Mario moves on Shovel Knight, which, by the way, don’t work at all.

Retro Atmosphere

It’s hard to know exactly how many games have attempted to recreate the magical atmosphere of retro gaming and failed, since there’ve been a good many of them. Fortunately, Shovel Knight need not be added to this list. Presented in 8-bit graphics with matching music and equally vintage color combinations, Shovel Knight feels gloriously old-school without ever feeling cliché. The theme songs vary appropriately with different levels and are surprisingly catchy, while the graphics feature beautiful renditions of retro gaming that add depth and character to an already well-beloved style.

Yes, But… Which Console?

Shovel Knight is available on Steam, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, and Xbox One. So, basically, you don’t have an excuse to not get yourself a copy. Do yourself a favor and download Shovel Knight for any one of these devices. It plays equally well on all and will have you shouting at the screen in anguish and delight in no time. There is also a secondary plot that runs on after the game is initially defeated, as well as downloadable content and extra goodies that will keep you entertained for a good long while. Happy shoveling. 

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Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow Remakes for the 3DS Coming February

The vintage game is being revived for Pokemon’s 20th anniversary

So, Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow remakes for the 3DS are coming in February. Now you know what you’re asking your significant other (or yourself) to buy for you for Valentine’s Day. On February 27th Nintendo will release remastered versions of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow for the 3DS console. This 2016 release follows the success of remakes Heart Gold and Soul Silver in 2009 of the 1999 Gold and Silver on the DS, and the remakes Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire in 2014 of the 2003 Ruby and Sapphire on the 3DS. Currently there are only two generations of Pokémon gaming made for the 3DS. While Pokémon X and Y have something to be said for themselves and Omega and Ruby were wonderfully redone, there’s plenty to be excited for with this new launch of the old.

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The Founding Fathers

Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, and Pokémon Yellow represent the very first generation of Pokémon gaming available on handheld consoles. In Japan Pokémon Red and Green were introduced to the Gameboy in 1996. Blue quickly followed due to a surge in Pokémon’s popularity, and the Special Pikachu Edition (Yellow) launched as a unified version of Blue and Red. Since Satoshi Tajiri’s achievement with these earliest editions, Pokémon has slowly come to dominate the world of Nintendo gaming, spawning other forms of enjoyment like manga, anime, card games, and toys. Pokémon is now such a popular phenomenon that Microsoft Word will mark “Pokemon” as wrong and tell you to spell it “Pokémon.”

The New Release

The news of these re-releases has hit fans differently across the board. Given that this first generation do-over is Pokémon’s 20th anniversary gift to itself and its consumers, people are torn by both excitement and disappointment. Red, Blue, and Yellow are expected to maintain their original charm, including their monochrome pixel art and 4-bit background music. The primary difference will be that these remakes will have the ability to trade Pokémon wirelessly, as would be expected with a 2016 release of any Pokémon game.

The Critique

Many people are complaining that this release isn’t big enough to warrant its significant anniversary date. While the nostalgia factor is undeniable, it is also undeniable that these games belong in the late 90’s that they were conceived in, not the latter end of the 2010’s. If playing Pokémon Yellow on the 3DS is mostly identical to playing it on the Gameboy, what’s the point? Regardless, Pokémon fans globally are rejoicing to see the revival of the first generation of the game. Pokémon rocked the world when it was initially introduced and today it continues to sweep countless fans into a fervor to “catch ’em all,” no matter the minor grumbling.

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The Revenant movie review

The Revenant is stunning, but ultimately becomes lackluster

Reaching for the stars and falling short enough to be captured again by Earth’s atmosphere, The Revenant promises much but, for the most part, ends up delivering little. Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and detailing what is supposedly a true story, The Revenant is a picturesque movie following the ghastly tale of frontiersman “Hugh Glass.” The movie takes place in 1823 and travels along the violent path that Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) would take to enact the finale of his own revenge story. In the vast wilderness that is the Louisiana Purchase Glass must not only defend himself from the original inhabitants of the land, but also the new, and even the land itself to preserve his own life and avenge another’s.

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DiCaprio’s Performance

No doubt the role could have been served to someone else and been equally well followed through, but DiCaprio gave The Revenant his blood, sweat, and tears- and it shows. Hugh Glass is brought to a bloody and vivid reality with DiCaprio’s haunting portrayal. While zero character development occurs during the film’s plot, a good deal of appalling violence takes its place, and most of that violence is inflicted upon Glass. DiCaprio may not have had to say a whole lot, but he certainly should get credit for doing a believable job of spewing saliva in savage pain when called upon to do so for the role.


The Vistas

The movie is undeniably beautiful, albeit often in a grotesque manner. Incredible shots of breathtaking scenery are paired with quasi-symbolic scenes featuring actions and posturing surprising from what at first seems to be a merely bloody revenge flick. Director Iñárritu takes a few valiant stabs at philosophical and spiritual themes with these vistas, and while he might have failed at taking the movie to the next level of intellectual heights, he certainly makes a name for himself for trying.

The End Result?

A movie simultaneously grand in scale and vague in plot; a movie stunning but outlandish; a movie enjoyable but immediately forgettable. As was noted in the ambiguity of the previews themselves, The Revenant never quite forms a story for itself and thus falters in some very important moments where it could have soared. Regardless, it was a magnificent attempt and by all means future movies from Iñárritu and DiCaprio will be well worth the wait and the watching.

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Kubo and the Two Strings summer movie preview

The stop-action animation Kubo and the Two Strings is sure to be a hit this summer

Unfortunately, this will be a slap-dash run-down of this marvelous new movie because very little is currently known about it. That being said, enough is known about it to make you, movie-goers, very, very excited. Kubo and the Two Strings promises to be a ground-breaking stop-action movie to leave you stunned and wondering where you’ve been for two hours. If you saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens in theaters, you probably saw a preview for Kubo and the Two Strings. If you missed it, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Watch the Kubo and the Two Strings trailer below.


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The Plot

Kubo and the Two Strings will be set in ancient Japan. Kubo, a young boy, cares for his mother in a Japanese village. His relatively unextraordinary life is set wildly off-balance by a visit from a spirit of the past who ignites chaos in which gods and monsters with evil intent chase Kubo down. In order for Kubo to survive he must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his deceased father, a legendary samurai warrior. Previews of the movie show glimpses of Kubo traveling across immense landscapes and facing enchantingly terrifying monsters, promising an action-adventure plot blending fantasy and thrills.

The Cast

If that doesn’t sound good to you, then you’ll at least be hooked by the cast. The film features the all-star voice talents of people including Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, and Rooney Mara. If this many legendary artists are involved, movie-goers should probably sit up and pay attention. It’s not every day that a stop-action film gets this sort of star-studded limelight.

The Stop-Action

Don’t be put off by this not being a movie with live faces and tangible landscapes. Stop-action films have proven over and over again to be just as mesmerizing as any of the rest of the genres. If you’re a fan of Coraline or Paranorman, know that the same studio is producing Kubo and the Two Strings. Laika Entertainment, LLC ‘s president and CEO is Travis Knight, who is acting as Kubo’s director and co-producer. This means that the level of quality and charm that Kubo will possess undoubtedly will be at the same level or higher as Coraline and the rest.

Summer Fun

The painful part about all of this? Kubo and the Two Strings is slated to be released on August 19th. That’s ages from now. For the moment, movie-goers can eat up the previews that have already been introduced to the public and watch carefully for any further news. Or, branch out a bit and dip your toe in the exquisite waters that is Japanese anime while you’re waiting. Miyazaki has plenty for you to watch while you’re waiting.

Divinity: Original Sin is an underrated RPG

The underrated rolepaying game Divinity: Original Sin is one to remember

Gamers, you may not have heard of Divinity: Original Sin. If you haven’t, listen in. Divinity: Original Sin is a masterpiece in its own right, and you’re not going to want to miss this one. Whether you’re rocking a PS4 or a PC, you owe it to yourself to at least take a gander at this semi-underground gaming masterwork. Be warned: once hooked, your friends and family will be seeing significantly less of you. Fortunately, if they complain, you can buy a copy for them and force them to play with you. They’ll quickly understand.

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So…What Is It?

Divinity: Original Sin exists as a single-player or a cooperate multiplayer fantasy roleplaying video game. It was developed by Larian Studios, a studio that focuses primarily on roleplaying and educational games. If you enjoyed games like World of Warcraft or Guild Wars, you’ll find your roleplaying needs fully satisfied in Divinity. If you enjoyed games like Fire Emblem, your love of turn-based strategy is met here as well. And if you couldn’t get enough of the looting and camera angles of the Diablo franchise, you better get your butt over to Amazon and buy yourself Divinity: Original Sin. The game’s design was so well received by gamers that a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign was able to raise over one million additional dollars to expand the content before release.

Yeah But… Why’s It So Great?

Divinity: Original Sin seamlessly combines what is lauded in several different video game genres into one immersive experience. However, it doesn’t force those different genres onto its players. Instead, it offers various routes to the same end goal. For instance, there is a good deal of exploration and loot-gathering available in places like towns. Here is where roleplayers can shine, figuring out the miniature puzzles and dialogue tricks in each house with each person. Strategic gamers who love turn-based fighting, on the other hand, can explore outer reaches of the map to level up their characters and challenge themselves with complex battles. You also have the option to adjust the difficulty of the game as a whole, which helps capture the attention of a wider range of players.

Still Not Convinced

The game itself is beautifully and meticulously crafted. Every person, every rock, every river, every cave is fascinatingly ornate and completely believable. The atmosphere of the game shifts with new areas and is consistently spot-on with the mood of the plot. As with games like GTA V, there are tons of tiny details in surprising places that are perfectly thought-out and oftentimes humorous. You’ll find gems of writing in item descriptions, character dialogues, and other unexpected places where most games wouldn’t bother.

Some Brief Fine Print

This is not a video game for the casual gamer. It can be quite difficult and bewildering at times and it puts very little effort into holding your hand in the beginning. You get dropped into the Divinity: Original Sin universe as abruptly as you are in the plot and you are left to fend for yourself. Once you grab ahold of the reigns and begin playing the way you want, you’ll find yourself enthralled. The challenges are gloriously rewarding and you’ll be fighting your roommate or significant other for the controller when it comes time to play. Divinity: Original Sin is an excellent game by any standards and will, for a long time, stand as one of the best turn-based roleplaying games available.

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SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket proves everyone wrong

The rocket safely landed in Florida at Cape Canaveral, is Mars exploration in the near future?

On December 21st, 2015, The Falcon 9 first-stage booster rocket successfully landed in Florida at Cape Canaveral. So what? SpaceX’sFalcon 9 stands as the only rocket to ever be launched into so deep of space and then returned safely home. So what again, you ask? Rockets aren’t cheap to build. SpaceX’s achievement marks an incredible surge in rocket technology concerning their reusability, and which may completely change the face of space exploration as we know it. Scientists said it couldn’t be done. In December, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket proved them wrong.

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The Company

You may have never heard of SpaceX before, and you may not know the name Elon Musk. However, you probably know the names Tesla and Paypal- therefore, by extension, you know who the founder of the private company SpaceX is. Elon Musk, former PayPal entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla Motors, created SpaceX in 2002 with the specific goal of crushing space transportation costs and ultimately making possible the colonization of Mars. Yes, you read that correctly. This is the company that just successfully returned a normally expendable piece of very expensive rocket equipment safely to the ground.

The Attempts

The Falcon 9 which took off and landed gently was not the first rocket to bear the name, although it was the first successful one. SpaceX has also launched Falcon 1 and earlier versions of Falcon 9, two of which were in January and April of 2015. Falcon 9 v1.1 Full Thrust was the champion Falcon, featuring a newly modified structure and an engine that was intended to provide a greater thrust. Falcon 9 v1.1 Full Thrust also landed on solid ground, rather than on a platform on water.

The Numbers

Currently, every single rocket that travels into orbit becomes lost or destroyed after taking off. Needless to say, this makes space flight exorbitantly expensive. Falcon 9 cost $16 million to manufacture and $200,000 to fuel, which feels like an insurmountable amount of money. This, however, would normally be the cost every time the rocket was launched. Instead, with Falcon v1.1 Full Thrust, SpaceX returns their $16 million investment, freeing their financial hands to be doing greater and grander things, like making it possible for civilians to colonize Mars. Money drives technology, and when you remove a bill like $16 million from your expenses, the possibilities become endless.

The Future

While SpaceX’s accomplishment is undeniably revolutionary, other privately-funded companies are not far behind. In November 2015 Blue Origin announced that it successfully landed its New Shepard rocket, which was before Falcon 9’s triumph. However, Falcon 9 was significantly more complex than New Shepard, and it achieved greater speeds and higher heights. Regardless of who does it “first,” we are entering into an era of unbelievable space travel advancements. The colonization of Mars may feel like it is centuries away, when in fact it may only be decades with inventions such as the SpaceX Rocket proving everyone wrong.

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