SpaceX Is the Future

SpaceX is The Future

SpaceX is the future. The space transport company is still glowing from the success of its December 3 launch of their Falcon 9 rocket from the Florida shore, and the sky is the limit for the high-tech company.

Elon Musk, of PayPal fame, founded SpaceX in 2002 with the goal of designing reusable spacecraft capable of replacing America’s retiring space shuttle fleet. To date the company has revealed the Falcon 9 and the Falcon 1 launch systems, as well as a spacecraft know as the Dragon.

As a private entity, SpaceX is mostly immune to government austerity programs and lack of general interest that buffets NASA. By focusing on developing reusable launch and orbit components, SpaceX is proving to be the future of orbital payload delivery.

In 2012 SpaceX became the first non-government player to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), and on December 3 the company was able to put a satellite into geosynchronous orbit above the planet, a high prize in the satellite delivery game.

The 3-plus ton telecom satellite delivered into orbit on Tuesday was finally successful after two previous attempts had to be cancelled in November due to technical glitches. This success opens the doorway for SpaceX to do unlimited business in the future, and they already have launch contracts with NASA and a number of commercial entities and foreign governments.

Speaking to reporters after the success of the launch, CTO of SES S.A., owners of the satellite, indicated that the future looks bright for SpaceX and the private payload delivery industry.

SpaceX has a 12-mission contract with NASA to deliver supplies to the international space station, and has already done so twice.

The newly upgraded Falcon 9’s have a more powerful engine system that allows them to achieve the altitude of over 20,000 miles necessary for stationary orbits. The company is also developing a version of the launch platform known as the Falcon Heavy, which uses a liquid-methane engine and will be capable of sending manned spacecraft into lunar orbit.

The financial potential of the company is measured in billions of dollars, as there are not many players capable of delivering what SpaceX has brought to the table. When it comes to rocket technology, failure can be devastating and spectacular.

In addition to guaranteeing safety and reliability SpaceX is the future of orbital delivery because they are managing to bring the costs lower than anyone else. The cost of space travel can be prohibitive, and if SpaceX can continue to deliver on its promises, then there will be new industries seeking their services at the lower price point.

Founder Elon Musk has publicly stated that he wants SpaceX to be a leader in developing interplanetary travel and eventually bringing a human team to Mars. In interviews given in 2011, Musk states that it is his intention to send humans to the surface of Mars with 10 to 20 years.

If such a timetable could even be kept in an approximate fashion, SpaceX will not only be a part of the future of cargo delivery and space exploration; SpaceX will be the future of the human species, as it moves to take its place among the stars.

By Mark Clarke

NPR

NBC News

Universe Today

7 Responses to "SpaceX Is the Future"

  1. Gary Warburton   December 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    The methane Raptor is in development and will be tested at the Stennis test site. For the moment it is slated for use on the second stage when it is ready. However idea with methane is that it is possible to develop refueling cabilities on Mars. There is some thrust advantage also.

    Reply
  2. Clive Bashford   December 9, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Not enough has been said about what is arguably their most amazing achievement to date – the successful reentry of the first-stage booster back into the atmosphere on their previous mission. The subsequent low speed crash was trivial and for a reason which will be easy to put right.

    Reply
  3. Charley Maxwell   December 9, 2013 at 2:47 am

    It’s all a bit smoke an mirrors getting information on this but, methane burning engines (Raptor) are only being developed for a new MCT system (Mars Colonial Transporter?) in development. So TerryS is correct Falcon Heavy is not slated to use Methane only RP-1.

    Reply
  4. LoriR   December 8, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    LOVED THIS MARK!!!!

    One major correction: You forgot to acknowledge the amazing achievements of the SpaceX President and COO, Gwynne Shotwell. Not only was she responsible for booking that huge manifest of future launches, but Gwynne also runs the daily operations of this awesome company!

    ROCK ON SPACEX!!

    Reply
  5. Mark Clarke   December 8, 2013 at 9:56 am

    @TerryS Whoops! You’re right, thanks for that correction!

    “To Jupiter…and beyond!”

    Reply
  6. TerryS   December 8, 2013 at 9:03 am

    A minor correction: Falcon Heavy will be RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) powered like Falcon 9, not methane powered. Methane will be used in their next generation boosters powered by the 650,000lb thrust Raptor engine, which starts component testing at NASA Stennis in a few months.

    Reply
  7. chris stachyra   December 8, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Go SpaceX! definitely an exciting company to watch. Inspiring writing. “Once you get to earth orbit, you’re halfway to anywhere in the solar system.” Robert A. Heinlein

    Reply

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