SpaceX and Space Tourism!

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Elon Musk is a 46 year old inventor who dreams big and has managed to bring some of his visions to life. One of these is the Tesla, the electric car which he is currently perfecting the driverless technology in.

One of the other areas he is intensely passionate about is space exploration. He set up a company called SpaceX in 2002 to develop rockets. These rockets have evolved over time, and he is currently making them less expensive to launch by making parts of them reusable. This is revolutionary as the wastage of parts of the rocket is what makes them so expensive.

SpaceX’ Falcon and Dragon rockets have been taking cargo like satellites into space in exchange for money. The idea was that the revenue or earnings from this business could help to fund part of the research required to make the rockets even better, so that Elon Musk could realise his real goal –  to send humans into space, and more pertinently, to colonize Mars. A couple of years ago, Elon Musk had promised to send tourists into space in 2018.

He has recently unveiled more plans. He says that too much time and effort is being spent on making the cargo rockets better.

So instead, SpaceX will focus its research money to build one mega rocket that can be used for Mars and other missions, instead of spending money on three different sizes and types of machines.  This will SAVE MONEY (cut down expenses).

The mega rocket will be used to transport humans to Mars in 2024. He wants to use this same mega rocket for travel on earth in record time. He says that you can then go from New York to Singapore or India to New York or pretty much from anywhere to anywhere else on the earth in under 30 minutes! So SpaceX will be able to earn some money by speedy travel on the earth. Through this, SpaceX will EARN MONEY (revenues).

Rockets to travel around the earth? Check out his vision:

 

How much will a ticket cost? Well, Elon Musk has spent more than $1 billion to get SpaceX to this point. He thinks that it could cost somewhere between $200,000 and $10 billion per ticket to Mars, depending on how we are able to reduce the costs of space travel.

Who else is working on getting humans to Mars? NASA, and an initiative in the Netherlands called Mars One. It is unclear where they stand right now.

Who else is working on getting humans into space? There are a few groups that include:

Virgin Galactic: A company founded by billionaire Richard Branson, who runs the Virgin group of companies that includes the Virgin Atlantic airline. Branson wants to get tourists into space, not necessarily to Mars. He thinks that the cost of a ticket on his rocket will cost $250,000

Blue Origin: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has been investing in building rockets to take humans into space as well. His company, Blue origin, aims to take tourists seeking thrills to the edge of space and back! The edge of space? Just enough so that they can experience weightlessness and then come back.

Come back next week on more on the business of space travel!

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