Did you ever imagine of sending something into space of your own?
Or even that sometime in future you will be able to send something in space for even as cheap as 1000$?
Well, that’s what Elon Musk is planning to do with his rockets.
Elon has many extravagant and sci-fi ambitions like the most famous one is that he wants to send humans to Mars.
Even though the dream is yet to be realized. Even though the current goals are a little different like making space travel as affordable as possible.
Come on what
Space Travel and affordable?
Yes, it may be thanks to the RLV technology developed by space X.
What did Space X do?
Space X is a rocket making company. It manufactures rockets which are used to launch various payloads into lower earth orbit. Space X makes liquid fuel rockets that are the norms of the present. Even though musk agrees that solid fuel rockets are better.
The company builds the rockets in its building where everybody can see the engineers work. The engineers build the rockets from the ground up. Starting from the engines even to the belts used in the rocket.
But building rockets is really expensive. For a little perspective every time NASA builds a rocket to send its payload in the orbit it spends $500 million.
That’s a lot of money being spent on a rocket, right?
Now, why does it costs so much to build a rocket?
Rockets are made from very expensive materials and technology even the fuel cost $1 million. Rockets need to carry different types of payloads too. The payloads are in them too intricate and delicate and expensive to build. Satellites, research equipment etc.
But the main problem is not the cost of materials. But the rocket itself. Every time you launch a rocket in the orbit you have to decrease the weight in order to escape the gravity of the earth. So, you have to remove unnecessary parts and dump them as the rocket propels in the orbit.
So all the parts are then dumped into the orbit and remain there until eternity. Some might fall down in the Pacific Ocean and can`t be used again.
So, if you want to send another satellite you have to build a brand new rocket again and again.
But Here’s where Space x technology comes into play.
Space x managed to develop such technology which allows you to reuse the parts of the rockets and bring them back to earth so that the cost of sending and payload in the orbit of the earth becomes relatively less. The cost reduces from $500million to $68million dollars per launch.
Space X rockets can not only launch the payload in the orbit but also return safely to the earth and ready to be used for another launch. The rockets have retro boosters that fire up when returning to the landing platform, decreasing the velocity and making it easy to land upright.
So how the company did disrupt the industry?
Of course, you are not a science or tech geek. Right?
You want to know what contributed to the Space x `s success. The reason was innovation and price.
In the space industry what matters the most is the cost. Because everything is expensive from the parts to the fuel. Even the hatch handles cost $1000.
To cut the cost Space X makes its own parts as much as possible. It also decreases the cost by cutting the middlemen. The most cited example is the use of sports car seat belts instead of harness for the astronauts.
Making the space affordable isn`t easy, Right? You have to do something to deal with it.
SpaceX is certainly very innovative as Musk himself is the chief designer at the company. Instead of focusing on the business side he does engineering work most of the time.
But working becomes really stress full as Musk is also the CEO of Tesla and Solar City. His other two ambitious projects.