SpaceX, the rocket company founded by tech billionaire Elon Musk, was created with the ultimate mission of landing humans in Mars. In 2002, Musk and some friends traveled to Russia to buy a refurbished missile. They planned to send mice and plants to Mars on this missile and hoped to reinvigorate interest is space exploration and NASA funding. The meeting in Moscow didn't go as planned so Musk ditched the original plan and instead decided to launch a missile launch company of his own. SpaceX was founded just a few months later.
“It’s the first time in four and a half billion years that we are at a level of technology where we have the ability to reach Mars.”
- Elon Musk
“I will go if I can be assured that SpaceX would go on without me . . . I've said I want to die on Mars, just not on impact.”
- Elon Musk
Everything You Need To Know About SpaceX
SpaceX has 6000 employees and is headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It has a factory and launch site in South Texas, and launch facilities at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (where it launches it's reusable rockets) and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (where it lands it's reusable rockets) in Florida. NASA and SpaceX have been working closely together for almost a decade. They have collaborated on multiple projects, launching hundreds of rockets to space.
Elon Musk believes the future of Earth is under jeapordy. He explains that the sun is gradually expanding and in a billion years there will be no meaningful life available on Earth. This is why he believes it is crucial to use this time with the existing technology available to extend the future of humanity. Musk is not kidding. As of 2020, the first ever civilian rocket was launched to space and this was major news. Four private passengers paid astronomical (pun intended) prices to lift off and experience life from a never before seen perspective.
SpaceX added a new glass dome to the top of the civilian spacecraft for a 360-degree view. The capsule orbited the planet 15 times for three days at an altitude of approximately 575km, flying farther than any other human space flight since the Hubble missions. NASA congratulated SpaceX on this journey tweeting that it represents a significant milestone in the quest to make space for everybody. Other tech billionaires have been following suit by launching joyrides from their own respective aerospace companies.
It's an exciting time to be alive and witness such developments in the Space Travel Industry. Such a beginning is forseen to accelerate the expansion of private spaceflight, making trips to space more regular, and eventually more affordable. In 2022, former NASA Astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria will launch a private space crew of three men each paying $55 million to spend eight days at the space station. In 2023, SpaceX said Japanese Bilionaire Yasuku Maezawa, would be the first private passenger to fly around the moon.