Cars in Space; What’s Next?!

By Jamieson D.

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Most of us have heard about Elon Musk’s car in space and how ridiculous the whole concept was, but did the experiment have a real purpose?

The name of the rocket that pushed the car into space is called, “Falcon Heavy” which is a new type of spacecraft that is considered to be the best out there today. SpaceX, the name of the space program, makes reusable rockets, meaning; it can be used to fly into outer space and come back down, on (hopefully) the launchpad.

For a reference, what NASA is currently doing, for the time being, is shooting two or three fuel tanks into the atmosphere, with the payload, costing around $500 per container. So if NASA incorporated SpaceX into their program, they would save around a total of $500 per fuel tank on the rocket. So for an average spaceship, the amount retained would be somewhere between $1000 – $1500 every launch!

The feature that allows SpaceX to recycle is in its landing legs, on the fuel tanks. After the rocket lifts into space and the first stage “pops-off”; the fuel tanks center cores will guide themselves away from the actual payload and safely drop down to earth and put into the new rocket.

There is another reason on why SpaceX is so cost efficient; this is portrayed in, “CPP” or “Cost per pound.” For the people who aren’t fluent in aerospace engineering, this means: for every spacecraft (i.e., the average cost for a pound of metal or piece of food for might cost $46,000) the cost is decided by dividing the entire value of the rocket by the weight and SpaceX has an astounding CPP of $26000.

The reason why Elon Musk decided to start SpaceX has many answers. But the main reason he began SpaceX is: how expensive it is to make and launch rockets. Why the sudden interest in spaceships, some might ask? This is because Mr. Musk had plans to launch a greenhouse on to mars with plants and nutrient gel.

But back to the expensive part; Elon Musk had need of a rocket to put a greenhouse on Mars, and so he looked at the rocket prices. After a while of looking at expensive costs, he then thought of why these rockets were so expensive. Then it hit him 一 the reason why spaceships were so expensive, was that one main company would buy parts from smaller companies, and those smaller companies would buy even smaller companies parts  and each company would sell their product for more than it would be to produce it by yourself.

Due to the insane cost of this, Elon Musk had decided to get all the parts for himself, therefore cutting out the middleman. This step got rid of over $20,000 on the CPP of his rocket. With this new movement from Elon Musk, the thought process of many rocket engineer minds have reconfigured for the better.

If rocket scientists keep getting excited about rockets, and keep improving them at a fast rate, we may even have an eco-friendly rocket shortly. So for a better future where space is a close friend, and we live, nay, thrive, on multiple planets, stay interested and make this dream a reality. For more information on SpaceX, visit: http://www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy

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