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NurPhoto via Getty Images

SpaceX Chief Engineer Elon Musk speaks in front of Crew Dragon cleanroom at SpaceX Headquarters in Hawthorne, California on October 10, 2019. (Photo by Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Elon Musk and SpaceX set to make waves in future space travel

March 9, 2020

Elon Musk is a real-life Tony Stark. Do I need to say less?

Model starship produced by SpaceX from New York Times

By now, the vast majority of people have heard of the billionaire South African born industrial designer and technology entrepreneur. It would be hard to have not heard of the man who is the CEO of Tesla, become an internet sensation, and fan favorite of those interested in technological advances. While Musk makes headlines often, he most recently has made headlines for his most intriguing project to date titled SpaceX.

Now, SpaceX has been around for quite some time. The company was created by Musk in 2002 as an aerospace manufacturer and space transport company. His goal was to create space craft capable of colonizing Mars. Crazy, right? Well the dream of Musk’s may be closer to becoming a reality than most would imagine.

SpaceX made headlines early this year as they test launched starship SN1 in Texas on February 28th. The launch resulted in the SN1 exploding immediately. Musk responded to the experimental failure by saying that he anticipated the launch failure and was incredibly disappointed in his engineers who allowed the rocket to be tested before it was ready. Video of the incident shows a starship begin the launch process and almost immediately implode. The failure had little to no effect on the evolving company as Musk drives their focus forward onto future projects.

SpaceX rocket launch by Geospatial World

One of these future projects includes the company’s 20th Dragon cargo mission for NASA. The cargo missions use SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and are performed in order to transport supplies to the ISS (International Space Station). The 20th Dragon mission included in the current SpaceX’s contract with NASA signed in 2008 will take place on March 6th . The launch will be available for viewing on webcasts online. After this trip, the missions will use an improved version of the current rocket and will begin launching in October of 2020.

Graphic Model of International Space Station courtesy of travel and leisure

Surprisingly, the Dragon mission is not the most shocking news coming from SpaceX as of late. Whether one is against the idea of tourist space travel, it could become a reality as early as late 2021. It has recently been made known that Axiom Space, a company run by a former manager of NASA’s sanction involving the ISS, has partnered with SpaceX for planning what would be the first private flight to space. The flight would include an estimated 55-million-dollar price tag, and include a 10-day stay aboard the ISS for three people with an astronaut guide. The plan would be to fly brand-new Crew Dragon capsules up to the station with NASA astronauts and reuse those starships for other trips with civil passengers. This is a result of NASA’s wish to only send astronauts on new craft despite SpaceX building its craft to be used on several expeditions. The mission would become the first mission to space with non-astronauts aboard not including the assistance of a government agency.

This mission would mark an influential step in Musk’s end goal of colonizing Mars in his lifetime. Once the transport of civilians to space becomes a new normal instead of a revolutionary idea, people may no longer continue to doubt his colonization dream. Musk has spoken on this dream as of late and says his ultimate goal would be to produce a starship every 72 hours or so. Some may call him crazy, and others may not fully understand what he is capable of, but one thing is for sure: a technological revolution is on the cusp of occurring and Elon Musk is at the head of the operation.

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