The Elon Musk owned spaceflight company SpaceX is the first private company of its kind to put satellites in the orbit and is instrumental in delivering cargos to the International Space Station (ISS) since its inception in 2012. It was only in 2019 that the SpaceX founder Elon Musk said that he wanted SpaceX to fly actual people to space in his rockets from the following year as early as possible. Cut to 2020, SpaceX had successfully started its first-ever mission into the orbit on June 13th with 58 Starlink internet satellites along with three miniature-sized Earth observation satellites before completing a perfect landing of the rocket Falcon 9 at sea.
The launch was done from a launch pad at 5:21 AM EDT at the Space Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. This launch is the second in a row to the Starlink mission this month with one more scheduled for June 22. With a fleet of numerous flight-tested Falcon 9 boosters, SpaceX is looking ahead to cover four more launches this month. With 60 Starlink craft on orbit, SpaceX owner Elon Musk said that it would require 800 more such Starlink craft to begin with and provide passable internet services to all the people living in the United States of America and Canada. With the global Starlink constellation planned to consist of 12000 satellites to start with, SpaceX plans to provide internet coverage all over the world.
With four unsuccessful attempts by Falcon 1 due to fuel leaks and one rocket stage collision, it finally has two major successful flights in September 2008 and July 2019. The 2009 launch also carried the Malaysian satellite RazakZat into the orbit.
Since the dream of Elon Musk of putting his rockets in space, SpaceX has received 278 million dollars from NASA since 2006 as a part of their Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration program which was o stimulate the making of commercial systems to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. With a few positive milestones coming the way, the contract from NASA saw an increase from 278 million to about 400 million dollars. SpaceX got selected for the venture with a fellow company known as Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) but consequent failures in meeting certain milestones saw the latter exit from the venture making SpaceX the solo company to go ahead with. SpaceX received a contract from NASA for about 12 flights with an estimated worth of about 1.6 billion dollars and there has been no turning back since then for the Elon Musk company. SpaceX has been receiving a lot of customers from the private agencies, the military services and the non-governmental bodies are willing to go any lengths and pay huge amounts for transporting cargo into space. Needless to say that most of the money is made from the launch services of these sorts, SpaceX aims to keep on developing technology for future space exploration quests. There have been speculations about the increased number of satellites covering the orbit might cause hindrance to vital data collecting agencies to which SpaceX said that they are using a special coating that would make them less reflective and less obtrusive in the clear skies.
Elon Musk plans to send space to Mars soon and in an event at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in San Diego in 2011, Elon Musk said that he promises to give it all he has to take people to Mars in the upcoming 15–20 years. In about three years, Elon Musk proposes that a reusable rocket stage might be a detrimental step in getting a step closer to the Red Planet. This next project of Elon Musk’s SpaceX is developing floating spaceports for its next-generation transportation system names Starship that will be taking people to and from Mars and the Earth. Prototypes are already underway according to sources though the company is quite tightlipped about it. If this turns out to be true, we might be a few years away from witnessing the first operational Starship mission that would start off with launching commercial communication satellites into space.
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