Undoubtedly, Elon Musk is a globally eminent personality and his company SpaceX has just made history with their recent launch of the Dragon Cargo ship to the International Space Station. Another spaceship was sent to the ISS in 2014 with several after that but what’s different about this particular event?
From the historical Kennedy Space Center launch pad 39A, the same pad used for the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, the craft traveled with 6,000 pounds (3 tons over the 2 tons in the previous carrier) of cargo, including supplies, equipment, and special telescopes for studying neutron stars, mice and thousands of fruit flies. It is also the 100th rocket to take off to space from this location.
The takeoff took place on 3 June, and reached the ISS on 5 June for a month-long stay and the Dragon carrier placed SpaceX as a challenging force in the new space race. Why so? The carrier has joined the ranks of an esteemed set of multi-orbit space flight crafts like NASA’s Atlantis, Challenger and more because of its launch from that specific location.
Many of NASA’s rockets have done dozens of missions but they were horribly expensive to repair. In the case of the Dragon CRS-4, the repair costs and the parts to be repaired are unclear. But, the industry can expect a considerable amount of savings, making space travel commercially available and affordable. Even if we ignore the financial considerations in the equation, this is a landmark achievement for humankind as private enterprises and individuals are truly entering the industry.
SpaceX is consistently enhancing its launching efficiency of Falcon 9 rockets; clearly seen as one Falcon 9 rocket took off two weeks ago, and another two weeks before that. It doesn’t just stop there as the firm aims for a higher launch cadence with to send off at least 12 more rockets from various launch pads throughout the year. Additionally this year in March, the firm had successfully launched and landed a recycled rocket for the first time.
On an endnote, SpaceX has incredibly big and exciting plans for the future; including getting people back on the moon and sending the first humans to Mars by 2025. The company is cementing its legacy while becoming the frontrunner in the race toward the future with its goals to push boundaries of what’s possible on Earth and in space. The next few decades will be a significantly revolutionizing time for space travel, much to the advantage and betterment of all of humanity.
Watch the 100th spaceship launch from the Kennedy Space Center launch pad below:
Take a look at SpaceX’s future plans in more details here: www.spacex.com