The Starship is going to revolutionize space travel. That is the intention of SpaceX. The leading space company has already revolutionized the industry with its reusable rockets. Now, in the quest to get to Mars, it is building a rocket like no other.
In December they did a test to see if they could land Starship similar to how it does other rockets. That did not end so well.
This week, the company was at it again. This time, the goal was to send the rocket up 7 miles, rotate it, have it come back down horizontally, and then have it land vertically on the pad.
Here is a video of the entire test.
As you can see, it did not go so well. In fact, it ended in a fiery mess.
Please bear in mind these are unmanned launches so nobody is actually at risk.
SpaceX is an important piece in the Space race that is taking place. The United States and China are locked in a battle for domination of the upper atmosphere and our neighboring bodies.
The Chinese want to control the orbital paths, something that if accomplished, would weaken the U.S. military. At the same time, the People's Republic wants to strip-mine the moon. Finally, it wants to touch Mars before the Americans.
This is where Musk and SpaceX come in. He has long held Mars as his target for first civilization off the Earth. He feels that is where humans need to ascend to first.
While the Chinese government is going full tilt after space, the U.S. is depending upon the private sector. With innovators such as Musk and Bezos, it is primed to wage the battle on a much different level. Innovation trumps the government largess, which is what NASA provides.
In fact, it was just announced that Bezos would be stepping down as chief of Amazon. It is thought that he is going to spend more time on Blue Origin, his own rocket company.
The key to the space race is multi-faceted. Obviously, domination of the space above us provide huge military advantage. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg. The true goal for many is the wealth that is presumed to be out there. Neighboring objects are thought to have trillions of dollars in raw materials. An entire industry built around asteroid mining is being erected.
Another factor is space manufacturing. As we colonize things out there, the ability to make products in zero gravity becomes available to us. This is something that many felt is vital to our push into advanced manufacturing techniques. There are simply too many obstacles when making things with gravity especially in fields such as biotech.
Over the next few decades, we are going to see trillions of dollars invested in space exploration, colonization, and travel. At stake are potentially quadrillions of dollars as entirely new industries are created.
In the investing world, we talk about 10x and even 100x gains. When it comes to the potential of space, we can be talking about 1000x+ opportunities based upon the money invested. It is still in its embryotic stage but there is a great deal that resides "in the heavens".
Colonization, throughout history, has always netted major windfalls. This endeavor is no different. Part of the payout is the process of development that takes place on the way to reaching these destinations.
For example, a great deal is going into researching construction. There are many projects that are looking to automate the process. While this pays dividends on Earth, the main goal is to have automated construction in space. After all, it is not likely that your local construction company will be contracted to build a few buildings on Mars.
Science has always benefitted from space. This should continue as we put more experiments out there. Having a colony even floating above the Earth will result in a lot of breakthroughs that can be applied on Earth.
As with anything regarding technology, the numbers can get insane very quickly. When coupled with space, things are taken to an ever greater level.
Another example is Starlink. Never before has a communication system with a single company had the potential market of 7.5 billion people. Yet, with this system, every person on the planet is a potential customer.
The proceeds, of course, will be used to fund other ventures for SpaceX. This is how progress works.
For this reason, SpaceX will keep literally burning up money by faceplanting rockets into the ground on their quest to get things right. To engineers, each setback is simply a learning experience.
So how many times will SpaceX keep setting Startships on fire? As many times as they need to.
The potential payout in the end is simply too great.
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