Top 5 Private Space Travel Companies: Who Will Lead the Race?

Private Space Travel Companies: Who Will Lead the Race?

 

Private Space Travel Companies: Who Will Lead the Race? One of the greatest achievements in human history is space travel. We have gone to the moon, launched satellites into orbit, and even managed to send a probe to explore the surface of Mars. With all of this progress, it seems like getting into space may be as easy as buying an aeroplane ticket. But don’t be fooled! There are still some major challenges that need to be overcome before we can go on any space vacation. Here are some of the most pressing issues for us.

Space exploration is still a major challenge

Our search for a settlement on Mars is now underway, and NASA, ESA, and Roscosmos are all working on this. However, space travel is still the most expensive way to get to Mars. If we ever intend to send out a human colony, space travel will need to be a cheaper alternative. It is also becoming apparent that the Earth itself is rapidly deteriorating. Rising levels of radiation, heat, and increased atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and methane mean that any kind of long-term colony on Mars is unlikely to succeed. With these issues in mind, it makes sense that space travel will probably have to be significantly reduced in the future.

Private space travel companies are leading the race

Let’s begin with the big questions: Who is leading the private space race? Is it SpaceX or Blue Origin? That’s a tough question. But, the truth is, no one company is doing all the work here. Instead, we have over 30 companies competing for a piece of the commercial space travel market. This competition has been so fierce that many companies have expanded into areas that were not part of their original business plan. That’s why some of the biggest private space companies are doing a lot of different things. For example, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has announced plans to send a crewed mission to the moon in 2018. Blue Origin, on the other hand, announced to be launching a space capsule into space as soon as 2022.

SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Boeing, and more

A few companies are developing technologies and designs that could one day allow us to visit space. We can get an idea of what space travel could look like by looking at previous, failed ventures. The most famous is probably the Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. This thing looks cool and it would allow people to ride on the outside of the ship to experience weightlessness. And that is fun, but this vehicle is under development.  A report from December 6, 2013, Virgin Galactic press release reads: “The latest version of the vehicle, VSS Enterprise, is completely unfurled and is slated to be the first vehicle to carry paying customers beyond the Kármán line into space.

SpaceX

 

 

 

A brief history of SpaceX

SpaceX has launched over 70 successful missions to date. The company has developed a whole family of rockets: the Falcon 1, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9R. The first three vehicles were designed to be launched from the SpaceX pads at Cape Canaveral. The Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy are the most used vehicles of the SpaceX fleet.

They also developed the Dragon spacecraft to serve as a private spaceship for human trips to and from the International Space Station. Currently, SpaceX is the only company that has the capability to send a human to the space station. The Dragon capsule is currently in service since 2012. The company’s ultimate goal is to send humans to Mars, colonize the red planet and start a new life there.

What are they trying to do?

Make space more affordable and accessible to all. And they’re probably going to do it one way or another. So what do we know about them and what can we take away from their recent achievements? let’s take a look.

SpaceX designs manufacture and launch advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company builds the world’s only privately-owned heavy-lift launch vehicle and spacecraft. Falcon 9, the company’s two-stage orbital launch vehicle, has now launched more than 50 times and is the world’s first privately-owned orbital launch vehicle. Falcon Heavy, the company’s three-stage orbital launch vehicle, is the most powerful operational rocket in the world.

Reducing the cost of space travel

SpaceX is not only committed to developing reusable rockets for orbital and suborbital space flights but also developing and testing engines to make future spacecraft capable of sending humans to the Moon and on to Mars. SpaceX and NASA partnered together to launch the first US-developed commercial rocket from a US launch pad and return it safely back to Earth, something that was previously thought to be impossible. Reducing the cost of cargo transport to Mars,  Focusing on the transport of people. The company also aims to establish a moon base and work with NASA and international partners to develop a global space station.

Providing safe, reliable and affordable access to space

Promoting space exploration, Gaining public interest and inspiring youth, Supporting the US space launch industry, Benefitting Earth

On July 15, 2015, SpaceX received a NASA Commercial Resupply Services contract for a 12-flight NASA Cargo Resupply Services contract for Earth-to-Earth payload delivery to the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX will launch an uncrewed Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket with crew supplies and new science experiments. This is SpaceX’s first NASA contract, following their historic resupply mission of the space station in 2012. Over time, SpaceX plans to support NASA’s long-term efforts to promote U.S. commercial cargo and crewed spacecraft capabilities, infrastructure and operations.

How will they do it?

Mars One: Mars One wants to settle Mars within the next 50 to 100 years and to form a permanent human settlement there.

The Mars One organization consists of seven ex-astronauts and researchers that want to establish a permanent human colony on Mars. The mission is set to begin in 2025. On their official website, they publish the names of many ex-astronauts with over 1,000 pages of background information about each of them. They also released a statement a few days ago saying that they needed to raise an additional $10 million in order to continue the mission in the future. Mars One is not optimistic and doubts the organization’s ability to achieve its goal.

Reusable rockets

Like the Boeing Delta IV Heavy (Boeing) and United Launch Alliance Atlas V (United Launch Alliance), SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle comes in two configurations: the Falcon 9 Heavy (100 tonnes) and the standard Falcon 9 (70 tonnes). Falcon 9 is the smallest booster in the world capable of launching spacecraft weighing up to 130 tonnes (more than 2,000 lb, or 926 kg).

SpaceX now operates its biggest production facility outside the US in California. The factory can produce about 70 Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy boosters per year, with the potential to increase that number to 150. To date, SpaceX has launched 35 Falcon 9 rockets and nine Falcon Heavy vehicles in a little over six years, breaking its own launch record for the Heavy (in February 2018).

Falcon Heavy rocket

The Falcon Heavy rocket is a three-core Falcon 9 vehicle with two additional Falcon 9 first stages as strap-on boosters. Falcon Heavy has three cores: two Falcon 9 first stages and a single-stage Super Heavy upper stage. Each Falcon 9 first stage has a single Merlin engine. This stage has more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff and is capable of powering the first stage all the way to Mars. Falcon Heavy can launch larger payloads to the orbit of Mars, more than any previous rocket.

NASA’s vision for Mars

In 1958 during the establishment of NASA, the goal was to put a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s. But the mission changed after President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, leading NASA to focus its resources on the space shuttle program. The shuttle mission ends in 2011 when the final shuttle launch was conducted.

Conclusion

One thing is for certain – there will be a lot of competition in the private space travel industry. Companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin are leading the charge for space travel and the next big revolution.

 

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