SpaceX is ready to launch NASA astronauts for the first time to the International Space Station over the weekend. The launch will mark the first time in almost ten years that astronauts are launched from American soil. The historic mission is scheduled for Saturday, May 30th, at around 3:22 p.m. Eastern Time, a Falcon 9 rocket will lift off from the John F. Kennedy Space Center carrying NASA Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to orbit aboard the company’s upgraded Crew Dragon spacecraft. It will be a test demonstration flight meant to certify Dragon as a human safe craft before conducting operational missons.
According to CNBC news, SpaceX filed an amendment to its previous funding campaign with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. The new filing reveals SpaceX raised $346.2 million in its most recent funding round. In the beginning of 2019, the company raised nearly $1.7 billion. SpaceX is one of the most valuable pre-IPO companies in the world, valued at around $36 billion. SpaceX’s innovation and determination to build a robust space program has enabled them to steadily raise funds over the years.
SpaceX space program includes:
-Launching astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station aboard its Dragon spacecraft, which is deployed by a Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket is a true innovation in the aerospace industry. Falcon 9 is capable of launching heavy payloads to orbit, then returns to perform a controlled landing on an autonomous drone ship at sea. SpaceX is actively building a rocket recovery system to reuse rockets, and has successfully reused previously flown rockets over a dozen times. No other rocket company has been capable of achieving SpaceX’s level of reusability.
Now, SpaceX is getting ready to conduct its first crewed mission over the weekend aboard the Dragon spacecraft. Dragon demonstrated in 2019 it is an engineering marvel, when it became the first private-American spacecraft to dock autonomously to the orbiting laboratory. SpaceX's first crewed mission is expected to place SpaceX as a top aerospace company that returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States - which is guaranteed to earn SpaceX more investors and launch service contracts.
All Image Source: SpaceX
-SpaceX is developing its next-generation spacecraft called Starship, at its newest SpaceX facilities located at Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville, Texas. Starship will be something out of a Sci-Fi film, a massive stainless-steel vehicle capable of carrying 100 passengers and tons of cargo on long-duration voyages to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. The spacecraft is in its initial phase of development. SpaceX does have an ambitious timeline to develop Starship, the first private customer, a fashion entrepreneur named Yusaku Maezawa, expects to travel on a journey around the moon aboard Starship by the year 2023.
NASA recently selected SpaceX to develop a Starship Lunar Lander version of the craft, for its Artemis program that aims to take the first woman and next man to the moon.
-SpaceX is also in the process of deploying Starlink -its very own satellite broadband internet network. The company would like to offer global internet services to fund future missions to Mars. A steady way to earn funding is entering the internet provider business. Though, SpaceX officials say its Starlink network will not be a threat to current telecommunication companies. SpaceX mainly targets to offer its service to hard to reach rural areas where traditional internet is inaccessible, unreliable, or nonexistent. Starlink will consist of deploying over 12,000 internet-beaming satellites that will send signals to small user terminals in customers’ homes or businesses.
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.