You may know Elon Musk as the CEO and founder of Tesla, one of the leading companies in manufacturing electric cars. Others may call him the space dude of the century. Still some may recognize him as the CEO and founder of his private space exploration company SpaceX. But wherever you’ve heard of him, you probably know that he’s both a brilliant innovator and somewhat a sociopath.
Here are things you didn’t know about Space X and its main man-
Since its conception in 2002, SpaceX has been on the cutting edge of space travel and exploration, partially due to Elon Musk’s insanely far-reaching objectives for the company. The goal of SpaceX is to make humanity a “true spacefaring civilization.” By starting a colony on Mars, people can reduce the “risk of human extinction,” according to Elon Musk — and he fully intends to do everything he can to make that Mars colony happen.
He once suggested that we nuke the surface of Mars to “warm it up” for human habitation. He produced and sold over 20,000 flamethrowers under the name “Not a Flamethrower,” in an attempt to prevent customs agencies around the globe from prohibiting the shipment.
SpaceX allowed Musk to build the Falcon 1 rocket, which became the first privately-owned vehicle to put a satellite in orbit in 2008.
Then in 2011, NASA granted SpaceX $75 million for the development of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft to enable the carrying of passengers; a year later, in 2012, that same spacecraft made SpaceX the first commercial company to connect a vehicle to the International Space Station.
SpaceX is the largest private producer of rockets in the world and has over 100 operational Merlin 1D engines, the most powerful engines on earth for their weight. Combined, the 9 Merlin 1D engines on the Falcon 9 rockets can produce 1.3 to 1.5 million pounds of thrust, depending on the altitude.
Musk views space exploration as necessary for the survival of humankind, and his goals with SpaceX are to make it as plausible and inexpensive as possible to expand outside the atmosphere of Earth. He hopes to have a colony of at least 80,000 people on the surface of Mars by the year 2040.
The Falcon Heavy is a large cargo-lifting rocket developed by private spaceflight company SpaceX. When it launched on its maiden voyage on Feb. 6, 2018, the rocket was the most powerful booster in operation at that time. (The Saturn V, which launched the Apollo moon missions, was the most powerful ever.)
On that debut test flight, the Falcon Heavy met almost all of its major objectives, including (notably) flying company founder and CEO Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster, carrying a mannequin named “Starman,” to space.
In addition, Elon Musk intends to eventually use Falcon Heavy to open the door for asteroid mining. At the moment, however, it is not certified for carrying humans and has been reserved for launching large satellites or space probes.
Is he just a mad scientist? Is he that crazy scientist guy you see in movies who plays the villain? Or he is the hero we do not see yet? Whatever be, he is surely invading space and we should all watch out for what comes next with him!