Elon Musk’s SpaceX Mission to Transform Space Travel and Beyond
The last space mission to exit Earth’s atmosphere and land on the moon was on December 14, 1972. Apollo 17 carried astronauts into lunar orbit to traverse the rocky landscape of our moon for the last time.
SpaceX’s Newest Mission
During the past few years, the interest in space research has been steadily increasing, with private companies partaking in the field specialization. Now with the success of companies such as SpaceX, it is likely that we will see a Lunar mission within the next decade. The ability to reuse rockets makes human-led space exploration and colonization possible in our lifetime.
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SpaceX, a company in need of private funding, announced early last year that they plan to carry two passengers around the moon onboard their Falcon Heavy Rocket, which has made headlines in the last few months. Following that trend, Elon Musk, on behalf of SpaceX, has recently announced their intentions to carry eight passengers onboard the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) that is in development. Privately sold tickets that contribute a substantial amount of funding for this mission were sold to the successful fashion innovator Yusaku Maezawa, or “MZ,” as he likes to go by.
MZ also announced during that conference that he invited six to eight of the world’s best artists to inspire them to create their own masterpieces (SpaceX 2018). Project #dearmoon is planned for the year 2023. Although Elon has been ambitious with other mission timelines in the past, it is vital that this mission is successful on behalf of all space research.
The implementation of BFR on Earth
The BFR is the most capable rocket designed thus far. The creation of this rocket is an incredible stepping stone in human technology. At 118 meters tall, the BFR will tower over any previously manufactured rocket to date (Mosher 2018). Its predecessor, the Falcon Heavy, stood at 70 meters tall. Elon previously stated, “He proposes using his still-in-the-design phase rocket [BFR] for launching passengers from New York to Shanghai in 39 minutes flat” (Dunn 2017). This ship would be traveling at approximately 303-km/s, 20 times faster than your average commercial flight. Time spent traveling would decrease dramatically, whereas previously, it would take upwards of 15 hours to reach Shanghai.
Assuming this is implemented into our transportation system appropriately, the creation of multiple shuttles could entirely change our global economy. This will enhance the positive effects of globalization we see, allowing trade and travel to happen much faster. Elon also noted later that “A seat should cost about the same as a full-fare economy plane ticket” (Dunn 2017). The demand for these tickets would surely drive the cost up aggressively; however, if implemented correctly, an economy-fare travel option capable of moving across our planet this fast will certainly improve the global trade market.
BFR, Our Bus Around the Solar System
Implementation of this rocket will certainly change trade on Earth. However, the ability to travel across our solar system consistently is the next huge step for mankind entirely. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, has mentioned his intentions to create a Moon and Mars base. The first cargo missions to Mars are expected sometime in the next decade, and the success of project #dearmoon would certainly add to its probability (Dunn 2017).
With the human population growing exponentially, it seems obvious that we should focus a large portion of our budget on expanding life to other planets. The innovations in technology humans have achieved in the last century are remarkable and allow for the possibility of innovation we haven’t imagined yet. It is undoubtedly possible that the success of the BFR will promote a rapid increase in space technology. SpaceX funding will rely heavily on the success of this mission.
At the top of innovation, with the help of hundreds of incredible engineers and scientists, SpaceX has the sustainability of the human species at the top of its priorities. The success of missions in the next decade will provide us with foresight on human potential. It is extremely important for the future of our species to look towards the stars and continue to evolve new ideas into something as exceptional as the BFR. Also, for competitive companies to involve themselves in the space industry, if we want to see tangible effects of this project, maybe #dearmoon will inspire us, as not just a nation but a global collective, to assure the success of planetary colonization.
- APOLLO 17 (AS-512). (n.d.). Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
- Dunn, M. (09/27/2017). SpaceX: Rocket for the moon, Mars, and NY-to-Shanghai in 39 mins. AP Top News Package. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
- Mosher, D. (09/18/18). Elon Musk just revealed the ‘final iteration’ of SpaceX’s biggest and most powerful rocket ship — take a look. Business Insider. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
- Sharp, T. (2012, July 23). Saturn V Rockets & Apollo Spacecraft. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from https://www.space.com/16698-apollo-spacecraft.html
- SpaceX. (2018, September 18). FIRST PASSENGER ON LUNAR BFR MISSION. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from https://www.spacex.com/news/2018/10/09/first-passenger-lunar-bfr-mission