Let’s take a closer look at SpaceX. If the fact that it was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk (aka “the real Tony Stark“) doesn’t guarantee it success (he did after all start PayPal and Tesla Motors amongst others!), the numbers do most of the talking: with nearly 50 launches on its manifest, representing more than $4 billion in contracts, SpaceX continues to push the boundaries of space technology down at 1 Rocket Road in California where their 3000 staff are headquartered.
A year ago, SpaceX successfully launched a private unmanned spaceship on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS), which made a bold statement that one of their main objectives is to offer a viable alternative to the now retired space shuttle program. With that effort, SpaceX‘s Dragon capsule became the first commercial spacecraft to attach to the space station, deliver cargo, and return to earth.
The company has this month also signed a three-year lease with Spaceport America to test their Grasshopper reusable rocket, meaning they can test at higher altitudes, as well as Sir Richard Branson having neighbours in New Mexico. Furthermore, plans are underway though for a commercial launch facility in Texas to keep the action closer to home. SpaceX is on a mission. As Elon Musk recently said at SXSW:
“I’d like to die on Mars, just not on impact”