Throughout the ages, human civilizations have always looked up at the Stars and wondered what’s out there? Over the centuries we’ve learned a great deal about space, but have had very little advancement in the ways of exploring it.
As time progressed the power and capabilities of technology increased but space travel was largely left behind. By the end of the 20th century and into the 21st century, space travel was still complicated, expensive and worst of all run totally by the governments.
There’s just too much red tape waiting to snag the fresh ideas of scientists and physicists leading to a pre-style industry until now. There is one man who chooses to dream big, has started to change all of this, that one man is Elon Musk and his big dream is SpaceX.
In this article, you will learn about SpaceX, how and why they have started? SpaceX’s achievements and future plans and much more cool stuff.
why and how did SpaceX get started?
SpaceX or space exploration technology corporation was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk the CEO of Tesla Motors and the co-founder of PayPal. SpaceX’s main goal is to create technologies to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars.
SpaceX is trying to help, solve the kind of spacefaring problem. I mean, think that a future where we’re a spacefaring civilization and a multi-planet species is very exciting, inspiring, awesome future. And in order for that to happen, we’ve got to dramatically improve the cost of spaceflight.
If we can keep improving the cost of spaceflight then eventually that trend is in the right direction. It could be leading to a city on Mars and certainly along the way a lot of activity, and low Earth orbit, and the moon, and lots of other exciting things.
An essential vision was to create relatively inexpensive, reusable rockets that could have travel characteristics similar to current commercial airlines. That is you can send a ship out to space with cargo, passengers or any payload, re-enter and land back on earth and be ready for the next flight within hours.
Elon Musk’s approach in the initial phase of SpaceX.
In the early 2000s, Elon approached members of Russia’s space program three times to gain access to a refurb Russian rocket in order to start his space dream. Unfortunately for Elon, the deal ended up falling. But after this, he realized something he didn’t need the Russians or anyone else. Because rocket technology had more or less stayed the same since the 1960s.
He understood that for any real progress to be made, there needed to be a whole new way of doing things, a better way. Not many people believed in private space travel, so Elon was going to have to do most of this by himself and all from his pocket. In order to save money, he had to come up with low-cost ways to produce engines.
In the end, he managed to reduce the cost of building rocket greatly by streamlining the process into an economically viable territory. Think of it much like how Henry Ford made the automobile cheap to manufacture. About 80% of all parts from any SpaceX rocket are made in-house by SpaceX themselves.
Elon Musk, SpaceX and the cost factor.
okay, so that’s all nice but really what’s the big deal. Well, firstly Elon’s methods are drastically cheaper. Let me explain, traditionally for NASA to launch anything into space just once, it cost anywhere from 100 to 260 million dollars. For the SpaceX program, a Falcon 9 rocket would cost about 57 million dollars to make, but it is reusable and burns about 200 thousand dollars worth of fuel per launch. So pretty much after paying for the rocket which is half the price of just a regular launch anyway, he will be spending a few hundred thousand instead of about 200 million per launch.
This is a quantum leap in cost savings. This is one of the reasons why there’s so much excitement around SpaceX. all right so it’s cheaper but what else has SpaceX done? what other breakthroughs are there?
Elon Musk, SpaceX, and the Breakthroughs.
- SpaceX has flown more than ten missions to the International Space Station.
Elon Musk: From software making, business handling to space exploration in SpaceX.
I think the biggest deal and the most amazing thing about SpaceX is actually how Elon Musk approached the challenges that came his way. When Elon started SpaceX he came from a software engineering and business role in PayPal. And obviously vastly different world to rocket science.
How is he ever going to learn about rocket science to build a company based on it? The answer, read books and learn rocket science. According to Elon Musk’s biography that’s exactly what he did. Here is a quote, “Musk felt comfortable standing up for his positions and directing teams of coders at PayPal but at SpaceX, he had to pick things up on the job.”
Musk initially relied on textbooks to form the bulk of his rocketry knowledge. But as SpaceX hired one brilliant person after another, musk realized that he could tap into their stores of knowledge. He would trap an engineer in the SpaceX Factory and set to work grilling them about a type of valve or specialized material.
One SpaceX engineer Kevin Brogan states I thought at first that he was challenging me to see if I knew my stuff, then I realized he was trying to learn things. He would quiz you until he had learned 90% of what you know.
Elon Musk, SpaceX, and the Internet.
okay so almost at the end of the article. In June of 2015, SpaceX asked the federal government to begin testing for a project that aims to build a constellation of 4,000 satellites capable of beaming the internet down to the entire globe including remote regions which currently do not have internet access.
Elon Musk’s long-term vision for SpaceX.
Elon Musk’s long-term vision for the company is to develop technology and resources suitable for the human colonization of Mars. He hopes to send humans to Mars by 2030 and he has expressed interest in living there someday. So far this seems like the stuff of science fiction but how close are we actually to getting people in space? well, it actually might be pretty soon.So there you have it that’s the story of SpaceX and what they are up to now? it’s incredible that one man and his idea could cut into and disrupt possibly the hardest industry on this planet. Just as a final thought I want to leave you with this here’s a quote from Jim Cantrell who was part of the founding team at SpaceX with Elon Musk.
What Jim Cantrell has to say about Elon Musk?
“So I am going to suggest that, Elon is successful, not because his vision is too grand, not because he is extraordinarily smart, and neither because he works incredibly hard. All those things are true, but the one major important distinction that sets him apart is his inability to consider failure.
It is simply not in his thought process. It doesn’t matter if he’s going up against the banking system with PayPal are going up against the entire aerospace industry with SpaceX. While going up against the US auto industry with Tesla, he cannot imagine not succeeding and this is a very critical trait that ultimately leads him to success.
What separated us I believe was his lack of being able to conceive failure. I know this because this is how he parted ways of SpaceX. We got to the point where I could not see SpaceX succeeding and walked away, but he stayed with the project and succeeded. I had 25 years of building space hardware and he had none at the time so much for experience and so that’s just something to think about.”
okay on that note that’s the end of this article. I’d like to know your thoughts on SpaceX and what they’re doing at the moment? If you’re new here feel free to subscribe.
P.S.: The word ‘blastering’ in the title of this article is a made-up word and not a real word. And for those of you who didn’t get the references…’blaster’ was the game sold my Elon Musk when he was a child. So I used ‘blastering’ instead of ‘blasting’.
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