“Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.”
Elon Musk’s SpaceX, today became the first private aerospace company to launch astronauts into space, that too from the US soil for the first time since the end of the shuttle era in 2011.
Let’s see what it is all about :
SpaceX or Space Exploration Technologies Corp., is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by a genius, entrepreneur, engineer, industrial designer, and philanthropist known around the world as Elon Musk, with the goal to reduce space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars. What a futuristic approach, isn’t it?
In the last 18 years, the company has unlocked several achievements, being the first private company to :
- To send a privately funded liquid-propelled rocket to earth’s orbit (Falcon 1, 2008).
- To successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft (Dragon in 2010).
- To send an unmanned spacecraft to the international space station (Dragon in 2012).
- To do the first-ever propulsive vertical landing for an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2015).
- To launch an object into the orbit around the sun (Falcon Heavy whose payload was Tesla roadster car, in 2018).
And now, after 18 years of hardships, SpaceX has become the first private company to send astronauts to the international space station for NASA, ending its 9-year draught with the agency.
The two NASA astronauts, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are presently delivered to the space station by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket ship, in which the astronauts were boarded in a bullet shaped Dragon capsule on top of the rocket. The launch was made from the same pad used to send Apollo crews to the moon a half century ago, launch pad 36A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the mission is called Demo-2, the first crewed mission by the company.
NASA has planned to fly its astronauts regularly to the space station, expecting to pay SpaceX about $55 million per astronaut to do so, making it 4-10 times cheaper than it would take NASA to do so.
Meanwhile, SpaceX has also decided to use Crew Dragon Spacecraft for other missions too, including space tourism which is expected to start in 2021.
Elon Musk quotes, “I say something, and then it usually happens. Maybe not on schedule, but it usually happens.”
So stay curious, and watch the future unleash