When we examine the deeds of entrepreneur Elon Musk as a whole, it’s difficult to tell if the man is completely brilliant, or completely out of his mind. He has his fingers in all sorts of ventures, ranging from investing in PayPal, Inc back when it launched to inventing a great new car company called Tesla Motors. He founded SolarCity to help people to stop depending on fossil fuels, and he started his own company to create rocket engines which will transport us into outer space.
This last company, SpaceX, is one of his most hopeful ventures. Says Elon, “The reason SpaceX was created was to accelerate development of rocket technology, all for the goal of establishing a self-sustaining, permanent base on Mars.” And he believes they are making progress in that direction, though a bit slower than he would like.
Undoubtedly, if he can pull this one off, it will go a long way towards fulfilling the dreams of many people who would like to see mankind branch out to other worlds. However, Elon’s vision can become somewhat clouded here and there, as evidenced by his reception at the International Space Development Conference last week, when he described his vision of colonizing Mars and discussed just how close he was to making his dreams into reality.
Apparently, the maverick entrepreneur’s reception there was somewhat less than friendly because of a lawsuit he filed against a different rocket engine company called United Launch Alliance and the US Air Force. He contends that the deal made between the Air Force and ULA–a joint venture between Lockheed-Martin and Boeing–is an illegal monopoly. He wants his own company, SpaceX, to be able to compete fairly with ULA.
Elon knows we have a way to go if we’re going to see his dream become a reality. That’s why SpaceX is committed to further developing rocket technology and making supply deliveries to the International Space Station. And, since NASA has already landed an unmanned spacecraft on our neighboring planet, they’ve been monitoring temperature, weather, and other data for quite some time now.
The Curiosity rover, which landed there in 2012, has been examining Mars’ Gale Crater to assess the climate for almost two years, testing the environment to see if it can sustain microbial life, among other things. If Mars can sustain microbes, it would be excellent news for the hopeful CEO.
One of the most important accomplishments towards reaching his goal to inhabit Mars will be the creation of a reusable rocket. Another factor that must be considered is the weight of the equipment they hope to land on the planet. With current technology, such a landing is not possible, but SpaceX is now trying to develop a methane-based rocket that would be much bigger than the Falcon Heavy rocket currently being developed by the company.
Are you among the millions of human beings who believe humanity’s future is among the stars? Let us know what you think about space exploration in the comments section below this article.