Managing Editor / Centerspread Editor
If you have access to the Internet, you have likely heard of Elon Musk and his company SpaceX. Founded in 2002, this company is one of the largest privately-owned space-technology companies, and regularly partners with NASA for missions. SpaceX was initially created when Elon Musk wanted to send his own capsules to Mars and found it would be cheaper to create his own company rather than rely on other agencies. Now, SpaceX is quickly moving to the forefront of space exploration and getting humanity closer to Musk’s original goal of reaching and colonizing Mars.
This multi-planetary focus is one of SpaceX’s main attributes. Even though this exploratory desire was the founding spark almost 20 years ago, this goal has not been lost. The rocket Starship has been designed to efficiently launch deeper-space probes and massive satellites and to bring future crews and cargo to Mars and beyond. SpaceX’s progress has been swift in building preliminary rockets to test each new technology, and its repeatedly successful prototype launches stun the science world frequently.
One notable feature SpaceX has come close to perfecting with its innovative rocketry is its rockets’ reusability.
“SpaceX believes a fully and rapidly reusable rocket is the pivotal breakthrough needed to substantially reduce the cost of space access. The majority of the launch cost comes from building the rocket, which historically has flown only once.”
The above is quoted from the company’s website. Many videos can be seen worldwide of its Falcon rockets landing precisely back on Earth. Unlike the traditional system of launches, these rockets are reusable and do not burn up upon re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. These revolutionary rockets are not only cost-efficient but save materials and eliminate waste, rapidly becoming a superior rocket model; notably, the famous Falcon Heavy rockets are not only efficient but can remotely and automatically land after launch.
But SpaceX has moved past designs and plans. In partnership with NASA and worldwide space agencies, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and her crew became a part of the International Space Station on November 15, 2020. A second crew and launch have now taken place, and one can only expect an acceleration in the number of SpaceX astronauts entering the arena.
The technological prowess and overall influence of SpaceX have shown that private companies are the future of space exploration. Many great things lie ahead for SpaceX, and the future of human exploration to the rest of the universe will likely begin with them. As the old motto of the British Royal Airforce, now adopted by many astronauts, states, “Ad Astra per Aspera,” to the stars through challenges. The world looks forward together to the future we will share in the stars.