How’s your 2017 going?
Great, I’m happy for you, but compared to the success of SpaceX we’re all eating dust.
So far this year the Elon Musk-founded company has ticked some serious boxes, and considering that it’s only June they’re set for a bumper year.
Mashable with a run-through of their achievements:
[The company] has already launched nine missions to orbit, exceeding their previous annual launch total of eight. (Not to mention the fact that two of those launches occurred within 48 hours of one another last weekend.)
SpaceX is also consistently landing Falcon 9 rocket stages back on Earth after lofting those missions, an extraordinary feat considering that the company hadn’t successfully landed a booster back on Earth at all until December 2015.
“Two years ago, they hadn’t landed any rockets, and in one weekend, they landed two rockets, and one was already reused,” Phil Larson, a former SpaceX employee, said in an interview.
Here’s one of those successful landings of the Falcon 9 from back in February:
Yeah, not at all shabby.
The company’s ultimate goal is to make the idea of private space flight, “including rocket landings, launches, reused spacecraft, etc”, seem like just another day at the office.
So what lies ahead for the rest of 2017? The next big test is trying to launch the Falcon Heavy rocket:
The company has been pushing off its first Falcon Heavy launch for years in development, but it actually looks like we’re closer than ever to seeing one of those huge launchers fly for the first time.
Eventually, SpaceX wants to use the Falcon Heavy to send robotic payloads and even people deeper into space than they ever have before.
Musk’s company has plans to send two people on a trip around the moon and back home in 2018, with a robotic Mars mission planned for 2020.
It remains to be seen if the rest of the year can deliver similar success, much of which hinges on how the Falcon Heavy rocket fares, but I imagine Elon is a happy man at present.
For someone who loves space so much, though, he does have a weird floor fetish going on.
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