Ever thought how long will it be before private companies will start launching their own rockets into outer space? Well, the first such event will happen this weekend, as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. launches a grocery run rocket.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, is just one of the companies that dreams to be a leader of an industry that’s just making its first steps. Elon Musk is the billionaire behind the company and although NASA advises this weekend’s rocket launch is just a test, the company has bigger plans in mind.
John Holdren is chief science adviser for the Obama administration. He said the SpaceX rocket launch this weekend is “a thoroughly exciting moment in the history of spaceflight, but is just the beginning of a new way of doing business for NASA”. As Holdren adds, “NASA is freeing itself up to focus on exploring beyond low Earth orbit for the first time in 40 years”.
If the rocket launch test is successful, then within five years companies such as SpaceX will run “ferry” routes from Earth to the International Space Station. But, NASA has a word of advice, as program manager Mike Suffredini with NASA’s space station, explains that “demo flights don’t always go as planned”.
“We need to be careful not to assume that the success or failure of commercial spaceflight is going to hang in the balance of this single flight” adds Mike Suffredini. SpaceX’s Elon Musk also thinks “there’s a significant chance the mission does not succeed”.
Space ships and NASA’s outrageously large government funds have bothered many over the past few years, as cost reduction became part of the daily agenda. NASA gave $381 million worth funds for SpaceX last year alone and another $266 million to Orbital Sciences Corp., which is supposed to make supply runs.
The mission won’t carry any persons on board, but will give some students’ the opportunity to see if their experiments really work. For instance, two students from a California high school have devised an experiment to see how fast will grape juice become wine in outer space.