Space Exploration Technologies Corp., is a private spaceflight company many people know today, thanks to the reputation of its creator, the billionaire extraordinaire, Elon Musk. However, SpaceX, as we commonly refer to it, isn’t a new idea, and the company has existed since 2002. Back then, the objective was already clear, sending people to Mars with private spaceflights.
Over the years, SpaceX launched many satellites, collaborated with NASA, and worked on creating reusable rockets, like the Falcon 9. Among the many accomplishments of the company, Musk and the COO of SpaceX have announced that 2030 will be the year of the first mission to Mars with people onboard, but there is much more to know about the company. Keep reading to learn more about Elon Musk’s incredible space projects.
SpaceX is One Of The Most Successful Private Spaceflight Companies In The World
Most space projects are owned by governments or are the results of several nations coming together to support the costs of such endeavours. SpaceX, on the other hand, is valued at $144 billion, and it’s one of the most successful private companies today, even surpassing companies that don’t engage with expensive production and have maximum return on investment.
One of the key of SpaceX’s success is the launch of satellites and other things in space for private companies and governments, which is always profitable in a market where SpaceX as a quasi monopoly. Still, Musk’s publicity stunts and eccentric persona helped create a brand recognition companies can only dream of, and the idea behind it is engaging.
SpaceX only exists because in the 1990s, NASA gave up on space missions, and there was a void to fill. Furthermore, Musk is so rich he can pump massive amounts of money into it, and their projects’ budgets are only exceeded by NASA and the Chinese program; still, it’s not the only reason it succeeds. SpaceX has developed a viable business model with reusable rockets and launch systems, an independent satellite network, and it also helps other space programs for incredible amounts.
The Company Has a Long-Term Goal Of Sending Humans To Mars
Since its inception in 2002, SpaceX has been building projects with a single goal: sending people to Mars and bringing them back in the most efficient way possible. According to Musk and the COO of SpaceX, this goal will be attainable by 2030 with the Starship rocket, the first fully-reusable rocket ever.
Still, this is the endgame and before reaching this ultimate goal, the Starship rocket will be used for the DearMoon project sending a crew of athletes, artists, and influencers led by a Japanese billionaire. This project will send this uncommon crew to the moon and back, making it the first outer space civilian flight ever.
In order to get to Mars and back, Starship will be refuelable with CO2 and H2O, which are naturally present on the Red Planet. So, the rocket can land, refill its tanks and fly back, and according to SpaceX, it will take six months to go there.
One of SpaceX’s Goals Is To Create Completely Reusable Rockets
Reusability is what sets SpaceX apart. It’s also vital to the financial stability of spaceflight companies, both public and private. Building a rocket costs a lot of money, and if you can’t reuse it afterwards, you’re losing a lot of money. SpaceX is constantly working to make its creations reusable to save on construction costs.
SpaceX started off with the idea that you can recycle the rockets you launch and as of now, the company has systems to reuse part of their launch. After a rocket is launched, SpaceX has a department dedicated to retrieving the rockets to salvage the parts designed for reusability.
For instance, Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket. This means the booster will send the cargo as high as possible before separating and letting the second reactor carry it into orbit. Before, this first part of the rocket would be destroyed, but SpaceX uses parachutes to let the booster land back safely. Part of this rocket is still destroyed, but the goal for the company is to create rockets they’ll be able to reuse completely.
The Company Was Founded By Elon Musk, Who Still Serves As CEO And Chief Engineer
Despite his recent takeover of Twitter, Musk is still the CEO of SpaceX and the Chief Engineer. This means the billionaire has a lot of responsibilities in every project launched, and he validates every decision. He created SpaceX back in 2002, but it’s not his first venture. Musk co-founded what is now PayPal. He later sold it successfully, and he’s now the head of Tesla, one of the biggest electric vehicle companies in the world.
It’s safe to say that Elon Musk has an eye for projects that change essential parts of society. PayPal changed the way we buy online, and Tesla promoted electric vehicles and prompted other companies to go green.
SpaceX brought back the space race that was abandoned after the failure of the Apollo missions. Now the European Space Program, NASA, Chinese, and Russian programs are back on track with even more funding than ever before, thanks to his initiative. The South African billionaire is still talking publicly, and he’s always present when a new mission launches.
The Company Has Its Own Spaceport In Texas
NASA and SpaceX have always launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida. However, SpaceX has recently decided to move its spaceport to Boca Chica, a small town located in the southern corner of Texas. According to the private spaceflight company, this change comes from the fact that it’s closer to the equator. It’s crucial for space launches since Earth spins faster there, and it offers a boost to the rockets when they’re launched.
Nonetheless, despite the location being remote, it still causes environmental issues, especially concerning wildlife. The local authorities have noticed a decline in the bird population around the area, and the increasing death rate of ocelots.
The company has made adjustments to mitigate the impact of its activities on the local wildlife. Yet they didn’t comment on the assessment report conducted by the FAA. The implementation of SpaceX also divided locals. Some felt grateful for the job opportunities, while others were annoyed by the many road closures and the fact that the company has launched more rockets than what the original agreement states.
Space has always fascinated us, as human beings, and SpaceX is now bringing our dreams to reality with promising missions to go to Mars and the Moon. 2030 isn’t far away, and if the Starship project is successful, who knows what the future will hold. One can only hope for commercial space travel to be available for all, but till then floating through space in the Spaceman slot or other space-themed games will have to suffice. However, with the ambition shown by companies like SpaceX, it is only a matter of time before we will be able to get such an experience!