After launching a rocket into orbit on December 21, 2015, SpaceX was the first private company to successfully recover its payload. This achievement was unprecedented, as the government had only recently begun trying to achieve the same feat. However, there were problems along the way.
SpaceX had to deal with a rocket malfunction, which caused a plume of smoke to be visible. This delay delayed SpaceX’s plans to bring astronauts to the International Space Station, but the company recovered from the disaster and has been bringing people to orbit ever since.
Elon Musk was a veteran businessman when he first started SpaceX, and he believed that more frequent launches would lower the cost of exploration. After gaining the trust of NASA as a steady customer, Musk also sought to attract other sectors to launch satellites and payloads. SpaceX now boasts more than eighty-Falcon 9 missions to date. The company is a success story in the making, but there are many challenges ahead.
On June 17, 2019, SpaceX successfully launched its Starship rocket. The capsule successfully landed in orbit three hours later and then parachuted back to Earth. The mission was a big success for SpaceX, but a few of its components were blown up in the process. Musk promised excitement after the second crew flight, and that was certainly the case this time. But was the mission successful? Only time will tell. But it’s certainly an exciting ride!
NASA also made an investment in the COTS program, in which multiple companies participated in the early stages. This investment eventually resulted in a $196 million contract with SpaceX. In 2007, the company was awarded two commercial resupply contracts worth $1.6 billion. In 2008, SpaceX’s Falcon 1 rocket made its first successful flight. But its load capacity was limited, with a maximum of 570 kilograms. In 2016, the company’s new Falcon 9 rocket was selected for the COTS demonstration program and was eventually launched with the Dragon spacecraft.
The company’s success at first seems to be a sign of its future. While Elon Musk’s vision of a commercial space flight company has become reality, the company’s history is full of ups and downs. Its CEO, Elon Musk, said it was his goal to make space travel more affordable for the public. However, the company is still far from the ideal scenario. So, how can SpaceX improve upon its success?
On a positive note, SpaceX’s first test flight was successful, but it also suffered a major setback: an explosion during a SuperDraco thruster test. This ruined a launch window for the Crew Dragon capsule. And since the crew capsule is meant to ferry astronauts to orbit, SpaceX missed the July launch date. As a result, the company has had to spend the past year proving its spacecraft’s safety. Moreover, a prototype of its Starship spacecraft, which is aimed to ferry humans beyond the space station, exploded during a static fire test.
With the launch of the Falcon Heavy, SpaceX is already planning to launch its first commercial all-civilian crew mission in 2021. The company is currently developing a bigger rocket called the Big F***ing Rocket, or BFR. This rocket will be capable of carrying cargo around the world and even transport human passengers to Mars and the moon. Musk hopes to use these rockets to create space bases for people on Mars and the moon.
While SpaceX has a long-term goal of sending astronauts to Mars, they are now focused on putting humans into orbit. The company was founded by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, who has spent millions of dollars on space transportation. In 2007, Musk won a competition to build a spacecraft and send a delivery vehicle to the International Space Station. A catastrophic launch failure last June halted the company’s plans for a crewed Mars mission.
Despite a limited budget, Musk and Isaacman have already raised $200 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The billionaire founder of Zozo, Inc., has also pledged to fund the entire mission, and he is seeking an artistic crew to ride aboard the ship. During the mission, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will circle the globe at speeds of 17,000 mph, which is 22 times faster than sound.