Since the moon landing, humanity has become fixated on the idea of intergalactic travel and discovery. With the creation of SpaceX, it seems as though we’re closer than ever to reaching our next destination in space: Mars. Here’s everything you need to know about the company aiming to colonize our neighboring planet, and the extensive trial and error they endured to get where they are now.
While SpaceX (or the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) was created back in 2002, the company didn’t start catching people’s attention until a few years later. Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, is also known in the technology world as the head of Tesla Inc.; his experience developing electric vehicles led to his venture into space technology. As of November 2018, Musk and his team of engineers were given permission to launch thousands of satellites, which will be used to provide wireless internet to people throughout the world.
In early February, they also sent a Tesla Roadster into orbit with a mannequin driver inside. Nicknamed “Starman,” the mannequin acted as a test astronaut in order to determine whether SpaceX’s equipment can withstand being exposed to certain conditions in space for long periods of time. Its spacesuit, for example, is an official prototype similar to the ones that astronauts will be wearing on future missions to Mars. Once the proper technology has been modified, researchers will be heading to the red planet to scope out potential dangers or health hazards, and to begin setting up the infrastructure to support visitors for long periods of time.
However, one of SpaceX’s most notable projects is their dream of space travel. The company previously announced their plans to send regular citizens into space, which would open up new avenues for travel and scientific discovery. In September 2018, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa confirmed his plans to be the first tourist to ride the Big Falcon Spaceship around the moon; however, the rocket is still in development, and will be put through extensive experimental trials before being approved for takeoff. Should Maezawa’s journey be successful, SpaceX might extend the opportunity to the public by 2024. Until then, the company will continue conducting research, and we may just find ourselves on Mars’ surface in the next decade.
Information taken from CNN.com, Washingtonpost.com, and Techtimes.com
Photo from Creative Commons