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In December of 2015, SpaceX, a company dedicated to the exploration of space, experienced a huge breakthrough. They were able to launch an aircraft to the edge of space and were able to return it, landing it upright on a floating platform in the ocean. The Falcon 9 rocket was the first of its kind to be able to do so and its significance is unparalleled . Furthermore, it has been able to accomplish this feat six times in the past ten months, confirming its validity .
Another great feature of the Falcon 9 rocket is that it is extremely affordable compared to the existing alternatives. It took approximately four hundred and forty million dollars to complete the Falcon 9 project, or about a third of what it would normally take. The cost of a usual space launch is estimated at 1.32 billion making space exploration extremely expensive and more importantly economically unsustainable. This is why NASA significantly reduced their spending in 2002 and could be an explanation as to why we still know so little about our surrounding environment. To make matters worse, NASA’s solutions for return up until now, have been exclusively to have the rockets either burn up in the atmosphere upon return, or to have them crash in the ocean, never using them again. However, with the newfound technology of being able to return space crafts that SpaceX has discovered, frequent space exploration could become a possibility in the immediate future.
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, is by no means a rocket scientist. He is simply a well-educated man who continuously recognizes opportunities. Always searching for untapped markets, Musk is the founder of Pay Pal, Tesla Motors as well as SolarCity and with the profitability of these companies he has been able to pursue his true passion; space exploration .
The next step for Musk and his team is to send passengers into space, something they have yet to do. They hope to do so at some point in 2024 and this would represent huge strides for the company. Musk and SpaceX have been at the forefront of space exploration for the last decade, dominating the industry. If they are able to construct space crafts that could transport passengers then Musk may see his ultimate dream come true. This is to send people to Mars.
The reason behind this dream is because Musk realizes the dangers that await us on Earth. He wants to send people to Mars not only for the sake of colonization, but also to inspire the people of Earth. To try and show them that humans can indeed become a multi-planetary species .
Over the past decade Musk has been able to accomplish so much. He has continuously delivered on his promises and goals; therefore there is no reason to think that this time will be any different.
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