Before we get to SpaceX lets look at history. If any of you dont know about Elon Musk , the space race or SpaceX this should be helpful.
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A Brief History
Space as an “Industry” has always been a competitive and a very secretive one. The Space race was essentially a result of the cold war. USA and The Soviet Union spent enormous sums of money developing missiles that could travel for thousands of miles with a heavy Nuclear warhead.
As a show of “Power” , The Soviet Union and the United States competed for many years to send satellites , then animals and eventually Humans. This was a time when up to 5% of the entire nations budget was spent on just the space exploration.
So up until 2002 ,The only people who had the money , power and technology to send anything to space were governments. Elon Musk wanted to change that. He founded SpaceX in 2002 with a dream to make it affordable and to solve the biggest hurdles of space exploration.
Today , SpaceX owns the largest share of the commercial space industry. This is mainly thanks to its reusable rockets. Rockets throughout history were expendable. once used , they would burn up on re-entry. This was the reason behind the enormous cost of space technology. The Falcon 9 Block 5 is a rocket booster that can be re-used up to a hundred times!
SpaceX and Elon Musk didn’t stop there , being the leader in the space industry wasn’t enough. The goal was to take humans back to the moon and beyond. They no longer had 5% of the entire nations budget , but re-usability and commercial launches is helping them fund R&D . NASA themselves have stopped developing new rockets , SpaceX has received contracts to resupply the international space station and eventually take astronauts too using their Dragon capsule.
To learn more about the history of SpaceX watch This.
So what is the plan ? How are humans going back into space?
Humans went to the moon using the Apollo rockets in the 60’s and 70’s. Till date they are the most powerful rockets we have ever made. Something comparable to it in power is required to restart our space journey!
The answer to that is the BFR. The Big Falcon Rocket , this is SpaceX’s answer to affordable human spaceflight in the 21st century.
The BFR is still a work in progress. If successfully built and launched , it will be the most powerful rocket humans have ever created!
At 188 meters tall with a diameter of 12 meters , The BFR can carry a whopping 220 tonnes to a mars transfer orbit! Elon even claims that a Mars base is possible by 2028! But of course the short term goals are to first complete the design process , perform a few test launches before a human gets inside. The uses dont stop there! This video shows you a concept Elon spoke about last year. due to its almost unlimited usability , it can theoretically be used to ferry passengers from one city to another! A plane journey that could take about 18 hours can be reduced to a 40 minute “flight” using the BFR!
One question in your minds maybe how much is this going to cost? how is SpaceX going to finance this audacious project?
The estimates for the development cost is said to be around 5-10 Billion dollars. Here is where Project DearMoon comes into picture. SpaceX is willing to send a private paying customer to the Moon ( To orbit the moon , No landing). The cost of this “Ticket” will be used for the development and trial launches of the BFR. Elon Musk claims that the first person could be launched on a BFR as soon as 2023!
So who is this mystery Man who has spent a lot of money buying himself a ticket to the moon?
A few days ago SpaceX revealed the “mystery man” (Watch the video Here)
Yusaku Maezawa is a Japanese Billionaire , Entrepreneur and art collector. He has paid a unknown sum of money to book his seat on the first flight to the moon. This may make him sound like a very rich person willing to throw money around but it was revealed in the event that intentions were actually good. He is willing to take about 6 artists that he chooses to make a universal art project. By artist he means any form of art maybe a musician , Painter , sculptor , film director etc. As an avid art collector he couldn’t imagine what beautiful things artists could have created after seeing the Moon up-close.
Are you excited for the future of Space Travel? Have Any Questions? Comment below!
Fun Fact – Rocket technology may have actually originated in India! In his Autobiography , Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam mentions a painting he observed in the Wallops Flight Facility , of Tipu Sultans army fighting the British with the earliest rockets! Most Indians had forgotten about their own technology! ( Read more about it Here )