By Kyler Litchfield
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, also known as SpaceX, is a company in Hawthorne California that has being doing business since 2002. With the century old idea of colonizing Mars, SpaceX has forever changed space travel. This company is showing more promise than government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Due to the private funding of SpaceX, there is no likelihood of budget cuts, like there is in government space programs.
Among the many achievements at SpaceX, their most recognized is their title as the first private space agency to launch, orbit and retrieve a space craft. In addition, they were the first to reuse a rocket that had previously been launched. NASA and SpaceX are working hand in hand to develop a better way to transport astronauts to and from the space station. SpaceX, however isn’t just focused on the development, they hope to create a demand for interplanetary travel.
Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, doesn’t just want to see rockets used in space, but also here on Earth. He said that, using the interplanetary rocket system developed by SpaceX, passengers would be able to take most “long-distance trips” in just 30 minutes and travel “anywhere on Earth in under an hour” for about the same price as an economy airline ticket.
With abilities like these, the world would be a lot more interconnected and economies would boom. Hopefully SpaceX will continue to research and pioneer this new technology. Imagine a way that you could go from London to New York in just a half an hour and all for couple hundred dollars. Impressive right? Well, imagine a world where you can commercially travel to mars. Would you go? Is it possible?
Elon Musk has aspirations for a BFR or “Big Falcon Rocket”, a nearly 400 foot, 42 engine rocket that could take passengers and supplies to the moon and Mars. He intendeds to start construction of this rocket by the end of 2018. He says that it’s not impossible for two such rockets to be launched in 2022 carrying just cargo. However, he hasn’t yet specified or clarified his plan for the colonization of Mars. Getting there is hard enough, but surviving there is going to be even more difficult.
He says that he wants to begin colonizing Mars by 2024 and have upwards of a million people on Mars by the 2060’s. He says that the technology that SpaceX and NASA have developed “will enable the creation of a lunar base. It’s 2017. We should have a lunar base by now. What the hell’s going on?” He has shown some amazing possibilities already, with his joint ownership and foundership of Tesla Motors Company.
Elon Musk has a long road ahead of him, and this poses the question if all of this can be accomplished in his lifetime. However, he’s shown a lot of promise, and even if this isn’t all accomplished by him, his colleagues, and his companies, he has paved a path for the future to follow. You may know some of his businesses, SpaceX, SolarCity, Tesla and Neuralink. He has a net worth of around $20.8 billion. He is also a nature activist, with goals of reducing global warming, creating clean sustainable energy and reducing the “risk of human extinction”. It doesn’t stop there, he was awarded the most outstanding contribution to the field of space transportation for 2007 and a National Conservation achievement award in 2008.
If there is someone to look up to, its Elon Musk, not only because of his business life, but his hope for a better future and his creativity in inventing. With Tesla Motors alone, he and his joint venture colleagues, have accomplished the fastest production car ever reaching speeds of over 250 miles per hour and it’s all electric.
With all of this in mind, it’s still going to be at least another 5 years before any of this space technology begins to reach us, but the future is bright, fast and more efficient, thanks to the work of Elon Musk and his hard working engineers. Would you go to Mars? Well, you have some time to think about it.