SpaceX is a rocket and spacecraft company started in 2002 with the aim of revolutionizing space technology. Their ultimate goal is “enabling people to live on other planets.” They are the only private company that successfully landed a spacecraft safely after a low-earth orbit in 2010, and the first company to exchange cargo supplies safely with the International Space Station and return to Earth in 2012 with their Dragon spacecraft. The Dragon has become a regular supplier of NASA cargo under a $1.6 billion contract, and is planning on moving towards carrying crew to the International Space Station as well. SpaceX is currently developing a new rocket called Falcon Heavy, which will be the world’s most powerful rocket. They are also working to produce reusable rockets, which would be a key transformation in space exploration that would significantly cut down the costs of space vehicles.
SpaceX believes that multi-planetary life is the next step of evolution, and that the exploration and settlement of other planets is a worthy and crucial endeavor, with Mars being the next logical step. While this kind of life in space may still be several years away, SpaceX is working actively towards this long-term goal and mission.
While Geography is traditionally the study of the Earth, the curiosity, sense of discovery, and adventure that inspired explorers, naturalists and early geographers to take on missions to uncharted regions of the Earth is also what drives our ambition to understand and inhabit other planets.
Written by: Christopher Ewell, AGS Intern on June 16, 2015