Elon Musk isn’t just known for his role as CEO of Tesla. He’s also in control of the space transportation and American aerospace manufacturer SpaceX. The main goal of SpaceX is to lower the costs associated with space transportation and to someday make it feasible to colonize Mars.
Leading the Path Towards Colonization of Mars
Colonizing Mars is a lofty goal for any type of space exploration company. For several years, only government agencies were involved in sending rockets into outer space. However, this changed in 2010 when SpaceX achieved a milestone that other private companies could not conquer. They launched a payload into orbit, which returned intact. Completing this feat showed the progress SpaceX had made and pushed it into the spotlight. They also completed another first on December 21, 2015, by landing upright and recovering Falcon 9’s first stage.
Where Is Mission Control for SpaceX?
The SpaceX facility was developed out of a Boeing factory used to assemble aircraft fuselage. Located in Hawthorne, California, it has continued to grow ever since and is occupied by several employees. One of the unique characteristics of this facility is the absence of traditional offices that include doors. Instead, cubicles take up several thousand square feet of the factory. Adjacent to the factory floor, you’ll find mission control. When a launch occurs, workers from the factory can gather to watch it take place and then go back to work.
Investing in SpaceX
Several investors have done well by investing in Tesla. This has sparked interest in SpaceX as another possible investment opportunity. While its IPO is not out yet and you won’t find a SpaceX stock symbol to trade, it may be worth keeping an eye on the company to see if Elon is going to take it public. Since it’s currently a private company, it makes it challenging to know if SpaceX is generating a profit. According to the experts at Money Morning, “The main reason investors are excited about SpaceX is its big private valuation.” Many analysts have come up with figures that rank this company as one of the world’s highest valued private tech companies.
Is There a Crew?
Initially, SpaceX sent uncrewed spacecraft into orbit intending to add astronauts in the future. SpaceX Dragon 2, which is a class of reusable spacecraft, was developed to accomplish this goal. It includes two separate units, Crew Dragon, which is capable of holding a crew of seven astronauts and Cargo Dragon, a replacement for the original spacecraft. On May 30, 2020, Crew Dragon became the first commercially developed spaceship to house a crew and fly into orbit. It went on to rendezvous and dock at the International Space Station.
After two unfortunate incidents occurred with space shuttle flights, SpaceX decided to go back to the Apollo spacecraft design and utilize a model with an upright rocket, which holds the crew on top of the stack. While there is room for seven astronauts, flights will probably not hold that many people. The escape rockets are built into the base of the spacecraft, which helps push the capsule away. Utilizing this type of design makes the spacecraft reusable.
With the successes that SpaceX has already seen, it may be possible that Elon’s goal of colonizing Mars will be reached in this century.