Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Elon Musk Wants SpaceX’s New Ship To Forge The Path To Mars
SpaceX founder Elon Musk recently unveiled the independent aerospace transportation developer’s latest spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to the International Space Station, and eventually — Musk hopes — far beyond.
Musk showed off the Dragon V2 at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. during a glam and glitz press event worthy of Tony Stark, where he explained his super-hero worthy ambition — to ferry astronauts to Mars.
“That’s where things need to go in the long term,” Musk said.
Hundreds of guests, press, employees and VIPs cheered when the literal curtain dropped unveiling the manned-spaceflight version of the company’s Dragon capsule, which was the first private company vehicle to carry cargo and dock with the ISS.
SpaceX along with Boeing and Sierra Nevada Corp. have been getting more than $1 billion from NASA to develop a replacement for the shuttle fleet after its retirement in 2011. In the coming months NASA is expected to decide which company it will contract with to send astronauts into space from American soil again by 2017.
Musk’s company already has several advantages over competing companies – Dragon V1 has already been flying routine missions to the ISS for the last two years and is developing the first-ever reusable rocket, which will deploy landing legs and return to Earth for multiple uses with a huge cost-saving benefit.
SpaceX is also the only one out of the three to build its own rocket engines right here in the U.S., as opposed to buying them from Russia – an option which before long may no longer be available.
NASA’s efforts have been accelerated in recent months after multiple Russian threats to stop carrying NASA astronauts to the ISS in retaliation to U.S. economic sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea in Ukraine.