Since its establishment in 2002, SpaceX became one of the most noticeable space agencies. It is often told to be also the most promising for future space exploration. Elon Musk, the founder, chief executive and lead designer of the company, presents SpaceX mission as “…to enable humans to become a space-faring civilization and a multi-planet species by building a self-sustaining city on Mars”. Though it is a long-rage plan, let’s take a look on less distant strategies of SpaceX.
Reducing cost of space travels
First of all, the company focuses on developing reusable rockets, which reduces the cost of space travels. SpaceX believes it is the key to make human life multi-planetary. Majority of space missions cost is building the rocket, which is used only once. Creating a vehicle that can be reused dramatically lowers the cost of travelling to space. In March 2017, Falcon 9 accomplished the first re-flight of an orbital class rocket. The company also tested landing on the ocean, so the technologies are still being developed.
Secondly, SpaceX plans on developing commercial rockets and begin space tourism. First mission is planned for 2023, when Japanese entrepreneur and art collector, Yusaku Maezawa will travel around the Moon. “This first private lunar passenger flight, featuring a fly-by of the Moon as part of a weeklong mission[..]is an important step in enabling access for everyday people who dream of flying to space.” The company explains.
Superfast travels around Earth
Another interesting goal is making travelling around Earth insanely quick. The company plans on launching rockets outside of Earth’s atmosphere, where there is no turbulence and weather condition remains the same. This plan assumes that people travelling by Starship and SuperHeavy could reach every place on Earth in less than an hour. For example, journey from London to Hong Kong would take just 34 minutes.
Travelling to Mars
Probably everyone interested in space exploration heard about Musk’s plan of travelling to Mars. The first cargo is going to be sent in 2022, the next one in 2024 will include a cargo and a crew. The first mission should identify hazards, put in place life-support infrastructure, initial power and everything else the crew will need. The second mission is supposed to prepare for future crew flights and build propellant depot. Those missions will be the first steps to create a city on the Red Planet.
Creating a city on Mars
Next strategies, including next steps of the colony and creating a self-sustaining civilization are quite misty. Musk claims that he would like to die on Mars, just not on impact, but SpaceX visualizations of the colony are not very different than NASA’s or every other agency. Though Musk leaves no doubt, that everything SpaceX does leads humanity to become a multi-planetary species.
To conclude, over the years SpaceX made several milestones in space exploration, however it seems that the company is just getting started. Strategies are ambitious and diverse, from superfast travels around Earth, space tourism and reusable rockets to building a city on Mars. Let’s wait and see which of them will come true and how the company is going to surprise us in the future.