Space Exploration Technologies Corporation which is doing business as SpaceX is basically an American Space manufacturer and transport company which was founded by the US Billionaire and serial entrepreneur Elon Musk in the year 2002 with specifically two goals in mind. One is the reduction of space transportation cost and the other that aims at colonization of Mars.
Now, What Does the SpaceX do?
SpaceX, whose headquarters is located in Hawthorne, California, is developing Falcon reusable rockets and the Dragon spacecraft with a goal of sending manned missions to Mars. It is currently researching and developing ways to create an interplanetary transport system and a global communications network and also cost efficient rockets that can be used more than once.
The corporation is being funded through a combination of venture capital, commercial and public contracts, which include deals with both the US Air Force and the NASA, and privately contributed cash as well. Until after its Mars Colonial Transporter starts to fly regularly, till then, Musk plans to keep the company private.
When we talk about all its major achievements, missions, its to-do list, future plans and more in the same context, To start with, SpaceX, On Working with NASA's Commercial Crew Program, is on a contract to send around four Dragon 2 missions to the International Space Station(ISS) each year, three of which carry cargo and one crew. It got its first big headline in the year 2010 when it became the first private company to launch a payload into orbit and return it to Earth intact, something that was only done by government agencies like NASA or Roscosmos before.
Since the foundation of the company, SpaceX has had many achievements in the space industry. The Major achievements of SpaceX till date include: Successfully launching of the Falcon 1 rocket into orbit (2008), Launching and orbiting of the Dragon spacecraft (2010) along with its recovery, credited as the first Private company to Deliver supplies to the ISS on the unmanned Dragon cargo ship (2012), Launching of its first commercial satellite, SES-8, into the orbit (2013), Successfully launching and landing of the Falcon 9, an orbital rocket - That came to be known as a major milestone in the drive that cut costs and waste by making rockets as reusable as planes (2015) and also the First one to re-use the same spacecraft in 2017 as well, Launching of The DSCOVR(Deep Space Climate Observatory)- a deep-space observatory that aims at alerting the people on Earth of potentially dangerous solar activity and geomagnetic storms as well(2015).
Adding on even further to its list, NASA had signed a further development contract in 2011 of Dragon whose sole purpose will be to transport human's to and from the International Space Station(ISS) safely. Like every other thing, SpaceX has also had its share of failures, that are no more new to them, While some came as a surprise, the others came with the destruction of high-value technology.
Once such incident that forced the company to take a four-month hiatus and that turned up to be a high-profile disaster was the destruction of a satellite due to the failure of SpaceX that was owned by Facebook and was designed to beam high-speed internet to Africa. The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad during a test in Florida, as a result engulfing both the rocket and the Facebook satellite in flames that worth $200 million.
Moving on, Talking of what is next on the cards, and what are its future missions or goals: SpaceX plans in sending two private citizens around the Moon in its Dragon 2 spacecraft sometime in the coming year(2018)-SpaceX Lunar Tourism Mission. The mission, that will launch from the same pad the Apollo program used to send humans to the Moon in the year 1969 is being funded by both the NASA and cash from the citizens and will also mark the first time when humans will be sent to deep space in all these 45 years. This mission, if successful will break a record for traveling the fastest and farthest into the Solar System for all those on-board.
The ultimate goal of Musk's is to send humans to Mars soon. He also plans further to create a colony on the planet and is on high hopes that the first spacecraft that will carry humans to the planet will set off in the mid-2020s. Before that, he also hopes to send an unmanned mission to Mars soon.
Official Link: SpaceX
Making Life Multiplanetary
Video Source: SpaceX