X Marks The Spot For Elon Musk
Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist, Elon Musk, yesterday achieved something that could be considered an achievement equal to the original moon landings of 1969.
Iron Man inspiration Elon Musk celebrated yesterday as his Space X company launched a rocket into orbit delivering communications satellites and successfully returned it to earth. The first time anybody in history has managed to do so.
Typically each spaceflight costs upwards of £500 million pounds, and it was actually found that during its lifetime, Nasa’s Shuttle Programme cost £1.5 billion pounds per flight and upwards of £210 billion dollars in total.
With Space X successfully returning a rocket to earth it now paves the way for cheaper travel into orbit. The problem prior to this successful landing was that any company willing to send rockets into space, would inevitably lose millions of dollars once the rocket had fulfilled its duty, however with this evolutionary leap forward into space travel, rockets are no longer discarded but instead reused.
Currently Space X charges in the region of £60 million dollars per orbital flight, but with this new development, private space flight prices can be expected to drop drastically, opening up the possibility of a new “Space Race” albeit, a race between privately owned companies instead of two duelling super nations.
If you consider the Wright Brothers first tentative flight in 1903 and compare it to the modern day aeronautic industry and how quickly it developed. This is considered to be one of those launch pad moments.
It hasn’t been all been “plane” sailing for Musk though, first attempts at returning a rocket to earth ended in disaster in June after their test rocket exploded three minutes after take off. Resulting in a six month set back for the company. “Obviously, it’s a huge blow to Space X,” Musk said at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Boston. “We take these missions incredibly seriously.”
Suspending the programme completely until the source of the problem was discovered, its appears Musk and his Space X team, rooted out the problem.
It seems that Musk’s dream of colonising Mars, moves one step closer, he said in a statement to American reporters, “this is a critical step towards establishing a city on Mars, Without reusable rockets, it would be unaffordable, it dramatically improves my confidence that a city on Mars is possible, it’s what all this is about.”
Nasa have predicted that humans could be on Mars as early 2035, Musk however, says it could be within the next decade. Who would doubt the real life Iron Man.