10 Things You Should Know About Elon Musk’s Falcons

Space X sent Tesla's Roadster and its Starman into space in February 2018 as a dummy payload on the first launch of the company’s Falcon Heavy rocket.

Elon Musk’s Space X has successfully launched over 100 rockets into space. According to Musk, he was on the verge of bankruptcy when his initial launches failed. Quite a lot of people were left heartbroken as Musk is considered a real-life Tony Stark of our era. We are certainly lucky to have someone who wants to work for our betterment. He had accumulated sufficient money back when he sold Paypal. Musk decided to split his fortune into two massive portions and start what we currently know as Tesla and Space X. Who invests in a rocket company? Musk faced this question throughout his life.

SpaceX's Roadster
In the foreground is an open-top red convertible sports car, viewed from the front over the hood, with a mannequin in the driving seat that is wearing a spacesuit. Source: Space X

Elon Musk initially wanted to invest in Russian rockets. However, Musk refused them as they demanded $8 million for a single refurbished rocket. He decided to make everything on his own, and that’s how SpaceX came into existence. I admire Musk as a person mainly because he refuses to give up. As I have stated above, his initial rockets could not withstand the atmospheric pressure and failed. He did not give up and invested his entire fortune in constructing reusable rockets.

Space X‘s concept of reusable rockets was indeed a breath of fresh air. Elon Musk claims that the first-stage booster makes up 75% of the overall price tag. He also gave an example of aeroplanes in one of his conferences in the past. He stated that it was necessary to construct boosters that could return to our planet. His ideas seemed bizarre and utterly daft back when he suggested them. Musk caught eyes when he launched the very first Falcon rocket in 2006. It, unfortunately, failed, but Musk didn’t lose hope. He constructed rockets that were better than the first one.

Following are ten fascinating facts regarding Elon Musk’s Falcon rockets. Let’s have a look at them, shall we?

Liftoff of Falcon 1 Flight 4 on September 29, 2008
Liftoff of Falcon 1 Flight 4 on September 29, 2008. Wikimedia Commons

1) SpaceX’s first few falcons were a massive disaster:

The first few Falcons were a massive disaster mainly because they exploded or disintegrated within 60 seconds. Elon Musk was left with a heap of disappointment, but Falcon 1’s fourth flight successfully reached the orbit.

Space X's CRS-20. Source: Spaceflight Insider
Space X’s CRS-20. Source: Spaceflight Insider

2) SpaceX’s 97 missions turned out to be successful:

Over 99 rockets from the Falcon 9 family have been launched into space. SpaceX’s 97 missions turned out to be successful. Moreover, one of Space X’s initial rockets was destroyed on the launch pad during the fueling process.

3) The Falcon family includes retired versions of Falcon 9:

SpaceX believes in reusing technologies. Most of their space rockets are designed to bring the boosters back to earth. As stated before, the Falcon 9 rocket family includes various retired versions of Falcon 9 v1.0, v1.1, and v1.2, along with the currently active Block 5 evolution.

Falcon Heavy's two side-boosters landing at LZ-1 and LZ-2.
Falcon Heavy’s two side-boosters landing at LZ-1 and LZ-2. Source: Wikimedia Commons

4) SpaceX used two Falcon 9 boosters to send ‘Falcon Heavy’ into space:

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is known as the most powerful rocket in the world. Falcon Heavy can elevate more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy. Falcon Heavy is made up of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines collectively generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to about eighteen 747 aircraft.

Musk's Roadster in Falcon Heavy.
Musk’s Roadster in Falcon Heavy. Source: Wikimedia Commons

5) Space X’s Falcon Heavy took Tesla’s Roadster to space:

Space X sent Tesla’s Roadster and its Starman into space in February 2018 as a dummy payload on the first launch of the company’s Falcon Heavy rocket. Elon Musk explained that the act was not just an exhibition of the rocket’s power; he basically wanted to send a message to the extraterrestrial life.

Space X's Crew Dragon capsule. Source: Universe Today
Space X’s Crew Dragon capsule. Source: Universe Today

6) Space X received funding from NASA to build Crew Dragon spacecraft:

In around March 2019, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon successfully completed its first test mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Space X made history in 2012 when the Dragon spacecraft became the first private rocket to berth with the ISS. Since then, Musk’s Dragon is carrying cargo to the ISS under commercial agreements with NASA.

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, left, and Douglas Hurley are seen inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon
NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, left, and Douglas Hurley are seen inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon. Source: NASA

7) NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley were the first humans to travel in Space X’s Crew Dragon Capsule: 

NASA joined hands with Space X and booked a crew flight to ISS. Rob and Doug were the first astronauts that booked a flight in Musk’s shiny space rocket. The Crew Dragon capsule was successfully launched on 30 May 2020 from a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket.

The Crew Dragon. Source: Space X
The Crew Dragon. Source: Space X

8) Musk’s Dragon was named after a song:

Elon Musk named the Dragon spacecraft after the song “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” a 1960s piece from folk group Peter, Paul and Mary. Musk selected this particular name because various people considered his business plan impossible when he founded Space X. None of the critics could break his spirit.

Crew Dragon Splashdown
Crew Dragon Splashdown. Source: SciTech Daily

9) Space X’s Crew Dragon made historic 1st splashdown on August 2, 2020:

NASA’s astronauts returned home on August 2, 2020, in Musk’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. Quite a lot of people gathered around the site to witness the historic splashdown.

It’s hard to put into words just what it was like to be a part of this expedition. It’ll be kind of a memory that will last a lifetime for me.Doug Hurley, NASA’s Astronaut 

10) Space X is the first private company to launch its rockets in space:

Elon Musk’s Space X is the first company to build and launch its own rockets and space capsules to the ISS and return them to Earth. Space X’s automatic Dragon space capsules launch on the company’s Falcon 9 rockets. They originally travelled to the International Space Station in 2012. The company is currently planning to upgrade Dragon capsules so they could launch seven people into space in the forthcoming years.

 

 

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