Mission to Mars
I recently had the opportunity to view a documentary on National Geographic that chronicled the origins and progress of the SpaceX Company. I had heard a few reports on this company but not realize that they had been working on their mission for almost 20 years!
Just a bit of background on Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX) from Wikipedia: “Born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa, Musk moved to Canada when he was 17 to attend Queen’s University. He transferred to the University of Pennsylvania two years later, where he received an economics degree from the Wharton School and a degree in physics from the College of Arts and Sciences. He began a Ph.D. in applied physics and material sciences at Stanford University in 1995 but dropped out after two days to pursue an entrepreneurial career. He subsequently co-founded Zip2, a web software company, which was acquired by Compaq for $340 million in 1999. Musk then founded X.com, an online bank. It merged with Confinity in 2000 and later that year became PayPal, which was bought by eBay for $1.5 billion in October 2002.
In May 2002, Musk founded SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, of which he is CEO and lead designer. He helped fund Tesla, Inc., an electric vehicle and solar panel manufacturer, in 2003, and became its CEO and product architect. In 2006, he inspired the creation of SolarCity, a solar energy services company that is now a subsidiary of Tesla, and operates as its chairman.
The ultimate goal of SpaceX is to colonize Mars. Their approach is to make the process more economical by reusing the some (or eventually all) of the orbital components.
I highly recommend that the reader check out the SpaceX documentary on the National Geographic Chanel.
In the meantime, check out a couple of brief videos, the 2nd one demonstrates a successful test of reusable components from a recent orbital mission: