Having just successfully launched the world’s largest operational rocket, the Falcon Heavy, SpaceX is on its way to making the possibility of domestic space travel become a reality. Spearheaded by serial entrepreneur and visionary, Elon Musk, SpaceX is a private aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company. It seems that very little is out of reach for the company and its impassioned CEO, what with having shot a cherry red Tesla Roadster into space, but how much do you really know about the company that may someday be sending you to space?
We’ve gathered a list of fascinating facts about this aerospace company that is at the forefront of innovation and technology.
11 Cool Facts About SpaceX:
- In 2010, SpaceX became the first privately owned company to launch a craft that circled the globe. Its Dragon capsule circumnavigated the earth twice before parachuting down to the steely cool waters of the Pacific Ocean.
- Avid entrepreneur and Internet mogul Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002. One of the most formidable minds of our generation, Elon Musk co-founded PayPal and set up SpaceX with the proceeds of the sale of that venture.
- SpaceX is working with NASA to develop a mission to Mars utilising its Dragon capsule. The success of this mission has the potential of producing a significant impact on whether we will see the Red Planet colonised during our lifetime. Musk aims to begin sending manned missions to Mars by 2022– we’ll just have to wait and see whether this will become a reality.
- They successfully beamed up Scotty. Yip, Star Trek fans will be happy to know that the remains of James Doohan, the actor who played Montgomery “Scotty” Scott in the original series, were given a fitting memoriam when it was shot into space with the Falcon 9 rocket.
- The company’s real name is Space Exploration Technologies Corporation.
- It became the first private aerospace company to dock at the International Space Station in 2012.
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7. On 30 March 2017, it successfully launched and flew a reusable orbital class rocket, the first of its kind.
8. In honour of a classic Monty Python skit from iconic comedian and actor John Cleese, the crazy geniuses at SpaceX decided to include a wheel of cheese in the payload of the Dragon capsule’s maiden flight in December 2010.
9. Its fleet of Flacon rockets are named after the Millennium Falcon spaceship from the classic sci-fi series, Star Wars.
10. This year, SpaceX rockets will be used to transport NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, making it the world’s first space taxi.
11. David Bowie’s song, Space Oddity is playing on a loop in the Tesla Roadster’s audio system, which was recently launched into space as part of the Falcon Heavy rocket’s payload. The cosmic toons of this eccentric music icon will be heard for millions of years as it is locked in an elliptical orbit around the sun.