Well, while I’ve been following Tesla very closely, I’ve only been peripherally aware of what is going on with SpaceX. Obviously, they are really shaking up the launch business and someday we will go to Mars because of them, but more practically, what they are doing with Starlink promises to have a much more immediate effect.
For those of us living under a rock, SpaceX for a long time was more valuable than Tesla and it is one of four companies that Elon Musk runs as CEO. Those are Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company and Neuralink.
The long and short of it is, that this guy is one of the few people who is building things with a definite view of the universe. So here goes for a quick explanation:
- SpaceX is basically on a mission to send people to Mars. The idea of course is that if we care about the species, we are much more likely to survive if we are on two planets than one. The second part is the strategy which is to apply computer and high-tech thinking with lots of experimentation to an area typically dominated by big defense contractors. While SpaceX has remained private, it has a super cool technology that let’s it land boosters on pads. This means that more of the spacecraft is reusable. Pretty impressive stuff.
- Their current rockets are Falcon and Falcon 9 cost $400M to develop whereas by traditional contracting, this would be more like $4B. They are currently working on the Falcon Heavy which has three Falcon 9 cores in the first stage. This is paired with Dragon which is used to resupply the ISS.
- Starship. This is their advanced reusable project that is designed to make it to Mars and back.
- Starlink. This is a constellation of some day thousands of satellites that will provide Gigabit internet to remote places. It starts with a set of satellite providing Ku band, but the cool thing is going to be thousands that will use the V band in 200 mile very low earth orbit. They launch 60 satellites at a go which is pretty incredible on a single bus.
Anyway, pretty cool stuff and lots of progress