SpaceX is a private space company founded in 2002 by Elon Musk. It’s in the business of designing, launching, manufacturing and launching space vehicles. The end result will be to enable people to explore space and live on other planets.
A history of firsts for SpaceX
In 2010, SpaceX became the first private space company to send a spacecraft to low Earth orbit and return it to ground. Then, in 2012 they became the first commercial company to launch cargo into space when it delivered supplies to the International Space Station aboard the Dragon spacecraft.
Another first happened on June 3, 2017, when SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched the first re-flight of a Dragon spacecraft. The spacecraft had previously flown in September 2014. This was the company’s 11th Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-11) to the ISS.
Beginning In 2018, SpaceX began launching Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket. The Falcon Heavy is currently used to carry heavy cargo to ISS. However, SpaceX will eventually use it to carry cargo to the moon and Mars.
SpaceX and space tourism
Dragon’s near-term future involves ferrying NASA astronauts and ISS partner nations astronauts to and from the ISS under a $2.6 billion commercial-crew contract with NASA. However, Elon Musk has said he’d like to open Crew Dragon to space tourists eventually.
Of course, Crew Dragon, which holds 7 people, won’t be able to make adventurous trips to someplace like Mars. So SpaceX is developing a 100-passenger spacecraft, called “Starship”, with a gigantic reusable rocket named Super Heavy.