Founded in May 2002 by the great business tycoon and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, is a private aerospace and space transportation manufacturer. The company designs and manufactures spacecraft, rockets, and satellites and offers an opportunity for private citizens to reserve a space flight that costs upwards of $1 million. They are renowned in the worldwide launch industry because they provide less expensive and competitive products. The company has headquarters in Hawthorne, California, where spacecraft are designed and built. They also have testing facilities in Texas, while several launches have occurred in Florida.
The company was the first to introduce the concept of reusable rockets. The idea was forwarded in 2011, followed by the launch and landing of the first liquid-fueled rocket in 2015. Space-X unveiled its first product, a delivery vehicle named Dragon, after 18 months of development, followed by another vehicle called Falcon. It was designed to lift humans and cargo into orbits.
While Falcon 9 is the liftoff vehicle with first- and second-stage rockets that propel cargo to orbit, the Dragon is a payload carrier. Dragon has two versions: Dragon cargo and Dragon crew. The latter has made history by taking two NASA astronauts to the ISS. SpaceX launched around 60 Starlink satellites in orbit in 2019 on Falcon 9. As of 2023, they have over 4,400 Starlink satellites in orbit, which aims to provide internet access to consumers worldwide, even in the most remote areas.
Projects Of Space-X
Usually, the rockets come in two or three stages; once the stages have used up their fuel, they are discarded and fall into the ocean. Hence, they are not reusable.
Space-X is the first to introduce the concept of reusable rockets where the first stage propels the rocket into orbit. They are designed to land safely on the Earth after the launch.
Musk has stated that his vision is to go beyond the Earth’s orbit. With his Starlink satellite, he has revolutionized internet access. One of their mission is to get more worldwide accessible WiFi.
By stating that the Earth’s orbit is not the end destination for the company, Musk intends to go past the moon, deliver astronauts to Mars, and return them safely. He came up with the starship project, a large next-generation rocket designed to surpass the power of the Saturn V rockets that initially sent astronauts to the moon.
They even launched one on April 20, 2023; unfortunately, the separation from the spacecraft booster and rocket failed around four minutes after takeoff. Luckily, it was unscrewed.