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SpaceX Simplified: A Short Guide to Elon Musks Aerospace Company

SpaceX, the rocket company founded by technology billionaire Elon Musk, was founded with the goal of bringing people to Mars. Nearly two decades later, it is getting closer and closer to achieving that goal, while at the same time reaching many more milestones along the way Amanda Kooser / CNET

If you have difficulty adhering to SpaceX's plans to replace international flights with orbital missile flights send a Japanese billionaire and his favorite artists around the Moon . Build a Global Broadband Network and develop a Mars rocket, do not worry. We've developed this SpaceX Primer to help you get started quickly.

How SpaceX Begins

In 2002, Musk and his friends traveled to Russia to buy an outdated ICBM. The prodigy from Silicon Valley, who has made millions of internet startups, did not want to start a business at the time. He wanted to spend a large part, or perhaps all, of his fortune on a stunt he hoped would revive interest in funding NASA and space exploration.

The idea was to buy a Russian rocket cheaply and send plants or mice to Mars ̵

1; and hopefully return them. Ideally, the spectacle would inspire the world again for space. But Musk's Moscow meeting did not go well and he decided he could build rockets himself. He expected that he could undercut the existing launchers. SpaceX was founded just a few months later.

What is a Falcon 9 rocket?

Musk originally hoped to make it to Mars by 2010, but it took six years to launch only one of his rockets. A SpaceX Falcon 1 circled Earth for the first time on September 28, 2008. This paved the way for a nine-engine version of the rocket, the Falcon 9, the company's workhorse since its first deployment in the launch Year 2010 .

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Falcon 9 is a two-stage orbital missile that can be used to launch satellites for businesses and governments, resupply the International Space Station, and even send the US Air Force's secret spacecraft to its mysterious length. Over the past nine years, the company has flown more than 70 Falcon 9 missions.

What makes Falcon 9 truly different from the competition is its unprecedented ability to send a payload into orbit and then return to Earth in the first stage, either on solid ground or on a floating drone landing pad at sea another innovation from SpaceX. After a few failed blast attempts, one Falcon 9 landed safely on December 22, 2015, and a few months later, another landed on a drone for the first time. Since then, several salvaged Falcon 9 rockets have flown and landed again. On May 11, 2018, SpaceX launched its first Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket the "final version", which can be reused up to 100 times during regular renovations.

A dragon that flies

Freight was transported to the International Space Station with the spacecraft Dragon from SpaceX. Dragon was the first commercial spacecraft to be salvaged from orbit. SpaceX is working on a second version called Crew Dragon to send people into space and to the ISS.

NASA has selected Crew Dragon, along with Boeing's Starliner, as the first spacecraft to ever shuttle astronauts to the ISS. The initiative suffered a setback in April 2019 when an unoccupied crew exploded Dragon during a ground test due to a leak in the printing system. It is unlikely that the crew Dragon's first flight with people on board will take place before 2020.

Heavy hawking of hawks

SpaceX attracted great attention in February 2018 when it launched the most powerful Falcon Heavy rocket launched from the US since the Saturn V, which has sent astronauts to the Moon. Basically, three Velcro 9 rockets strapped together, sent the huge launch system a test payload, consisting of Musk's personal red Tesla Roadster, towards Mars. Two of the three Falcon 9 that made up Falcon Heavy landed almost simultaneously on Cape Canaveral.

More than fifteen years after his first trip to Moscow, Musk finally realized the international spectacle he had come up with in 2001, building up a viable business.

The second Falcon Heavy launch took place on April 11, 2019, following the first successful landing of all three first-tier rocket cores. A third Falcon Heavy launch took place on June 25, 2019, and SpaceX went one step further by catching the payload fairing (the nose cone shielding the payload at take-off) with a ship equipped with a huge net.

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Tracking Falcon Flights

You can track every launch of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy through the company's website and YouTube channel. Each show will usually be live 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.

To keep up with the ever-changing startup schedule, the best source of the SpaceX Twitter feed is . It's also a good idea to follow Elon Musk's review if you do not already do it.

Spacecraft to the Moon and Mars

SpaceX plans to launch some large payloads in the coming months with Falcon Heavy, but is already working on an even bigger rocket called Starship (previously BFR, Big Falcon Rocket or BFS) Big F ** * ing Rocket). Musk hopes that this even bigger rocket will be able to transport cargo and eventually human passengers around the world and the solar system. He imagines Starship driving people on superfast international flights over space and finally to bases still to be built on the Moon, Mars and beyond.

A Starship prototype named Starhopper left The ground hovered about 20 meters above the ground for the first time on July 25, 2019, before landing a short distance away at the SpaceX facility in South Texas.

In 2018, Musk announced that the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the company's first paid customer for a Starship mission that will send the entrepreneur and six to eight of his favorite artists on a weeklong flight the moon and back to earth in 2023.

Maezawa plans to invite artists from the media such as literature, film, visual arts, architecture and fashion to his journey. The famous art collector pays the bill for the entire journey with the expectation that the artists will create new works inspired by the experience. The project was christened #dearMoon and since then Musk has announced plans to livestream the entire mission in VR so fans can join in at home.

Musk offered his plans for a major city on Mars at two international aviation convention but he still has many details about what life on the Red Planet would look like. He said SpaceX was primarily interested in providing transportation while others could look after the infrastructure. Company President Gwynne Shotwell, however, said it might make sense for the SpaceX sister company The Boring Company to drill tunnels on Mars that could be used for human settlement.

Paul Wooster, the company's senior engineer for his Mars Plan, said at the Mars Society conference in 2018 that the first humans who were sent to the Red Planet indefinitely landed on the Starship live as they build their dwelling and land pads and other initial infrastructure.

Sights on & # 39; Starlink & # 39;

SpaceX not only works to bring things into space, but also hopes to use space to bring the universe to us. In May 2019, the company launched dozens of small satellites that were the first to be developed in a massive constellation of broadband satellites. The plan, called Starlink, envisages deploying nearly 12,000 satellites in a near-earth orbit to provide the globe with high-speed Internet access. The company says it can tap new revenue streams to fund its expensive Mars ambitions.

What's next?

Since its founding SpaceX has been aiming to reach Mars. However, the company is involved in non-space related projects on Earth, such as the High Speed ​​Hyperloop Transit Concept . Musk's drilling company digs tunnels and also undertakes traffic calming measures mostly from SpaceX headquarters in Southern California.

Unlike the other big musk company, Tesla Motors, SpaceX is not publicly traded. Musk has announced to bring SpaceX to the public only when the company realizes its Mars ambitions. This means that in the meantime, SpaceX could be a home for other future Muscian side projects like Hyperloop and the Boring Company.

Originally released on June 2, 2018 and updated as new SpaceX developments.

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