Elon Musk’s SpaceX has gained worldwide attention for a series of historic milestones. It’s the only private company capable of returning a spacecraft from low Earth orbit, which it first accomplished in 2010.
The company made history again in 2012 when its Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to and from the International Space Station. Now the ambitious space startup has it’s sights set on a lunar landing in 2022.
Through a collaboration with NASA, SpaceX is one of five businesses that are newly eligible to deliver robotic payloads to the moons surface. SpaceX proposes to do this work with the reusable spaceship-rocket duo Starship and Super Heavy, both of which were developed primarily to help humanity become a multi-planet species. If anyone but Elon Musk said that you’d probably laugh!
SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell recently commented, “we are aiming to be able to drop Starship on the lunar surface in 2022,”.
While the claims might seem fanciful, as one of the world’s fastest growing providers of launch services, SpaceX has already secured over 100 missions to its manifest, representing over $12 billion on contract. These include commercial satellite launches as well as US government missions. SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft is flying numerous cargo resupply missions to the space station under a series of Commercial Resupply Services contracts.
If anyone can make inter-planetary space travel a reality, surely it must be Elon Musk and the team at SpaceX.