What Did We Learn From Recent SpaceX Launches?

What Did We Learn From Recent SpaceX Launches?

Ever since NASA stopped their space programs, it seemed our space exploration stalled. Thankfully, there are private companies that are now picking up where NASA left off. Just recently, Elon Musk and his Space X proved to the world that private companies could successfully launch rockets into space.

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Ever since NASA stopped their space programs, it seemed our space exploration stalled. Thankfully, there are private companies that are now picking up where NASA left off. Just recently, Elon Musk and his Space X proved to the world that private companies could successfully launch rockets into space.

On February 6, 2018, Space X launched the three Falcon 9’s together. For the launch, the mission had 27 engines in total, making it the most powerful rocket in the world. The engines were scheduled to fire at specific times. One of the payloads is Tesla Roadster, which is now heading to Mars after re-lighting its thrusters after a six-hour wait. Two of the three Falcon 9 has safely returned to planet Earth, waiting to be re-used again. The third one didn’t quite make it.

The third Falcon 9 was scheduled to land on a drone ship stationed at sea. Unfortunately, only one of the three engine’s fired, which mean that the rocket smashed into the water at 480 kilometers per hour. Space X confirmed that the third rocket was destroyed.

All in all, the recent launch was a big success for Space X. One of the three rockets may have failed to stick to the plan, but considering that Elon Musk stated that there’s a 50/50 chance that the rockets would explode during the launch mission, the launch is still regarded as a very successful.

Space X is not a stranger to their rockets exploding. In fact, the company blew up more than half a dozen Falcon 9’s while launching or landing attempts.

Another highlight of the launch is the fact that the Falcon 9 that was launched yesterday has already been used in previous missions. This is a big step towards making space flights more cheaper than ever before.

With Space X’s recent successful launch, the next logical question comes into the picture – “what’s next?

According to Space X, the company will continue to work on reducing the cost of space flights. As of the moment, Space X is focused on developing stage one rockets further. According to Gwynne Shotwell, the president of Space X, the cost of re-using a stage one rocket is a lot cheaper compared to building a new one.

At the moment, the company charges $90 million for a Falcon Heavy Flight, and $62 million for a Falcon 9 flight. This might sound expensive for most people, but it’s relatively cheap considering that launch missions used to cost in the realms of billions. Space X has already a few customers. For example, there’s the ArabSat and the US Airforce.

Another possible big customer is the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is getting closer to the end of it’s “lifespan.” However, there’s a way to extend its life, or perhaps another station can be added. For years, The Falcon 9 has been carrying precious cargo and supplies to the ISS. What’s more exciting is the Falcon Heavy, which can carry 140,000 pounds worth of cargo into low-orbit. Because of Falcon Heavy’s capabilities, it’s possible that it can become a launchpad for ISS’s construction components. However, Space X hasn’t yet confirmed that they have any plans for such, but it’s a possibility nevertheless.

One possibility that is seemed to be dead right now is the idea of sending paying customers to orbit the moon with Falcon Heavy. Keep in mind that Elon Musk publicly stated that they would be “touring” two paying customers around the moon in 2018. A lot of people are assuming that Falcon Heavy is going to be the spacecraft that’s going to do it. As it turns, out it’s Elon Musk’s next big project that may have the honor – the Big F*cking Rocket (BFR).

According to a recent press conference by Elon Musk, Space X is now almost finished developing Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. Space X will then focus on developing the BFR. BFR is going to be the most massive rocket in history with it is 31 Raptor engines, weighing 4,4000 tons and standing 106 meters tall. According to Elon Musks, it’s the rocket that will take humans to Mars. However, you might not want to hold your breath as test flights of the BFR may start around 2022.

Elon Musk’s ultimate dream for Space X is to send humans to Mars. This might not be a reality in the next decade, but at least for now, space flights costs are dropping, and space tourism may be the next big thing.

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