Elon Musk founder and CEO of SpaceX couple of days ago announced the name of the first person to be taken on a tour around the moon, billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.The fact that we are this close to start selling this kind of trips amazes me, but the truth is without SpaceX and especially Elon Musk none of this would be possible today.
Like I said in the brief biography of Elon Musk he is a risk taker to say the list. Rockets and spacecrafts are one of the hardest industries for someone to make any kind of innovation, somehow thought Elon did it and in a very big way.
Even thought technology is progressing in a huge manner every single day, before Elon space travel was very expansive and totally run by government.
In 2002 he founded Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX). SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecrafts. The company was founded to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.
At the beginning, Elon approached members of the Russian space program to gain access to Russian Refurbished Rocket in order to be able to start the company. The deal ended up falling apart but Elon realized something out of all of this, space technology had stayed the same since its dawn in the 1960’s. To be able to make his dream a reality he decided that some drastic changes had to be made. Not a lot of people believed in the idea of private space travel, so Elon had to do this all on his own and especially from his pocket.
At the time, the cost for NASA to be able to send a spacecraft to space was around 100 to 260 million dollars. Since SpaceX is manufacturing in house 80% of the technology and the materials used in their rocket the cost to make the rocket is at 57 million.
But SpaceX’s rocket is reusable, you only need to build it once so the only real cost is the fuel at around 200k dollars. If you do the math Elon Musk with SpaceX has reduced the cost of space travel from 200 million to about 200k, the innovation here is remarkable.
SpaceX, has made some remarkable achievements throughout the years.
In 2008 they were the first privately owned company to orbit the earth.
In 2010 the first privately owned company to launch, orbit and recover the spacecraft.
In 2012 they became the first privately owned company to send a spacecraft to the international Space Station with 1.000 pounds of supplies for the astronauts.
In 2013 the first privately owned company to put a satellite in orbit.
And their biggest achievement, the first ever company to land a first stage booster back to the ground, this was the first time ever in history for an orbit capably rocket to return to the ground. The only technological advancement that has been made in the space industry for over 30 years.
In 2015 they approached the federal government with a plan to deliver 4000 satellites in low orbit around the earth, that could beam Hight Speed internet to everyone around the world, providing a yearly income for the company and also internet to remote regions of the world.
Their biggest goal is to travel to Mars by 2030 and also develop technology for people to leave there.
A lot of people played a significant role into making the company what it is today, but in my opinion if you take Elon Musk out of the equation, everything falls apart. Without him and the way he approached the challenges that come his way, I don’t think the company would be at the peak that it is today.
Here is a quote from Jim Cantrell, who was part of the founding team of SpaceX with Elon Musk
So, I am going to suggest that he is successful not because his visions are grand, not because he is extraordinarily smart and not because he works incredibly hard. All of those things are true. The one major important distinction that sets him apart is his inability to consider failure. It simply is not even in his thought process. He cannot conceive of failure and that is truly remarkable. It doesn't matter if it’s going up against the banking system (Paypal), going up against the entire aerospace industry (SpaceX) or going up against the US auto industry (Tesla). He can't imagine NOT succeeding and that is a very critical trait that leads him ultimately to success. I know this because this is where we parted ways at SpaceX. We got to a point where I could not see it succeeding and walked away. He didn't and succeeded. I have 25 years of experience building space hardware and he had none at the time. So much for experience. - Jim Cantrell