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THE EDGE POST

How SpaceX Started


Located in Hawthorne, California, SpaceX is an American spacecraft maker and space transportation service founded on 6 May 2002 by Elon Musk. Its main vision is to provide affordable spacecrafts to enable people to fly and colonize mars in the hopes of having a second home in case Earth meets a massive disaster that can possibly wipe out the human race.


The Founder Of SpaceX

Born on 28 June 1971 in South Africa, Elon Musk was a bookish and introverted child who held a deep fascination with computers and entrepreneurship. At age 12, he created a game by coming up with a simple code to which he sold it off to a tech magazine for a few hundred dollars. Growing up, life at home and school were not easy. His father was a strict man who would tell him and his brother, Kimbal, to stand for 4 hours as he scolds them. While in school, there would be a group of kids who would gang up on him and his best friend and do all sorts of nasty things including this one time where he was pushed down the stairs. In 1988, Musk decided to move to America to escape South Africa’s apartheid and because he wanted to find better opportunities.


In 1992, Musk transferred from Queens University, Ontario to University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia where he received his bachelor’s degree in Physics and Economics in 1997. Then he went to Stanford University for a graduate program in Physics but left after a mere two days as he saw a bigger opportunity in the Internet as compared to Physics. This route led him to co-found several companies such as Zip2 in 1997 and X.com in 1999 which later became PayPal. Musk has always loved reading sci-fi in particular the Foundation series written by Isaac Asimov which was the reason that inspired him to create SpaceX in 2002.


Company Name

SpaceX is the short form of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation. Musk always believed that if the human species wish to survive for a very long time, then they must be able to live in other planets and in order to do that he aspired to create sustainable and affordable rockets to colonize mars.


SpaceX's Stuggle

The very first 3 rockets made by SpaceX were a failure as none didn’t even launch successfully. Despite it being more affordable than other rockets, investing money in 3 rockets and having all 3 fail is an expensive risk. However, luck was on their side as the last bits of their money invested in the fourth rocket, Falcon 1, successfully launched.


SpaceX's First Product

SpaceX’s very first product is the Falcon 1 which is a rocket more affordable compared to other types. Falcon 1’s affordability can be attributed to its modular design, engineering choices and the fact that Musk prefers to create SpaceX’s own materials instead of outsourcing it.


How SpaceX Succeeded

Back in 2006, just 4 years after its founding, SpaceX only had 80 employees but the reputation of the company from the general public slowly grew traction. In the same year, NASA gave them a contract to build a spacecraft that can be used to refuel the ISS (International Space Station). Then in 2012, SpaceX made a huge breakthrough when its spacecraft, Crew Dragon, docked at the ISS. Fast forward to 2019, SpaceX succeeded in docking the Crew Dragon at the ISS but this time with a seven-seater that contained a cargo and a human dummy named Ripley. It has yet to launch real humans but this moment proves a crucial step forward towards launching humans to space to live.


SpaceX's Plan To Fly To Mars

After several failed and successful launches and building the sustainable spacecrafts, Elon Musk’s ultimate mission of sending humans to Mars has yet to be fulfilled but the date is not far away. The spacecraft, Starship, is still under construction and it’s absolutely massive.


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