General, Research, Technology

The history of the creation of SpaceX. When did Elon Musk decide to send people to Mars?

The only spaceship intheory can fly to Mars, is Starship from SpaceX. The final version of the aircraft is not ready yet, but starting from 2020 we have been monitoring the tests of its prototypes almost every month. We can say that this is one of the most important spacecraft in the history of mankind, so everyone who is interested in science and technology should know the history of its creation. Recently, the British edition of the Independent published a short article on how SpaceX was created and why Elon Musk decided to develop a huge spacecraft. For me personally, it was a great discovery that at first Elon Musk just wanted to buy three rockets from Russia to deliver plants to Mars. But some difficulties arose, which pushed him to create his own space company. We will talk about this now.

Elon Musk thought about flying to Mars back in 2001

Content

  • 1 Elon Musk's Martian oasis
  • 2 Spaceship to fly to the Moon and Mars
  • 3 Starship Trials
  • 4 SpaceX's involvement in space exploration

Elon Musk's Martian oasis

In 2001, Elon Musk was known simply asone of the founders of PayPal. But even then he began to think about the conquest of space. He came up with the idea to send robotic greenhouses to Mars, inside which different types of plants can grow. To make his project a reality, Elon Musk planned to buy three missiles from Russia for $ 20 million. He called his bold project the "Martian Oasis", and its essence was to grow plants on a distant planet that could release oxygen necessary for life. Elon Musk also hoped that his project would revive people's interest in conquering space.

Initially, Elon Musk just wanted to grow plants on Mars, but then his ideas became more ambitious.

Unfortunately, Russia did not accept the ideaentrepreneur in earnest and the deal was never concluded. But Elon Musk did not give up and in 2002 decided to create his own company SpaceX, which started producing its own inexpensive rockets. And what do we end up with? A couple of decades later, this company has a Falcon 9 rocket and a Crew Dragon spacecraft, thanks to which the United States can launch astronauts on its own. Previously, American researchers could only fly into space on Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and for quite a lot of money.

See also: Why is Soyuz docking with the ISS faster than Crew Dragon?

Spaceship to fly to the Moon and Mars

But the reusable Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon arethese are far from the most important projects of the SpaceX company. In 2012, development began on the Starship spacecraft, which is capable of not only delivering heavy loads to Earth's orbit, but also quickly moving people between different continents and even sending them to the Moon and Mars. The prototypes that exist at the moment are not yet able to do this, but tests are carried out almost every month and most of them are successful. It is worth noting that Starship is just a spaceship and will definitely require a Super Heavy booster to launch it. It is still only at the development stage, but soon the company will start testing it too.

Super Heavy rocket prototype

The Starship is currentlythe only device that can deliver people to Mars. No private company or space agency has yet begun to develop a ship of this kind with the same seriousness and zeal. SpaceX is hoping to get the first humans to Mars as early as 2024. But whether the company will be in time by this time is not yet clear. It would be good if the manned mission to the Red Planet was successfully completed at least by the end of this decade. In the future, SpaceX plans to produce 100 Starships a year and each of them will be able to accommodate 100 people. So Elon Musk believes that it will be possible to create a full-fledged colony on Mars by 2050.

A colony on Mars is expected to look something like this

Starship tests

To do this, the company needs to prove thatStarship is capable of taking off and landing in any conditions, be it Earth, Moon or Mars. Prototype tests have been carried out since 2020: at first, the structure made small "jumps", and then began to take off to a great height. During the tests, the company came up with a very clever way of braking the ship before landing - at some point it takes a horizontal position and increases air resistance. Immediately before landing, the ship turns vertically again. During some tests, prototypes explode, but this is completely normal.

Lunar Station Gateway as seen by the artist

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Also SpaceX will take part in sending people toThe moon as part of the Artemis mission. She received $ 2.89 billion from NASA to create a lander that will be used to transport people to the lunar surface and return them back to Earth. Read about all the stages of one of the most important space missions of this decade in this article.

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