What a disappointment! I was looking forward to the launch of the first crewed mission by SpaceX to the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday, only for it to be cancelled 16 minutes to take off! After the launch was postponed, I got thinking about how far the company has come and what this means for the future of space travel.
The company was founded by Elon Musk in 2002 and just like Tesla (which he did not found), the company has received a lot of flack for its ambitious goals, which were branded “unrealistic” at the time. However, the space company has gone on to prove its detractors wrong by winning multiple government contracts against its more experienced competitors such as Honeywell, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin among others.
The key complaint that most people have against Elon Musk is his tendency to challenge the status quo and established norms within every industry he enters. The one question that has led to most of Musk’s innovations is: “Is there a better way to create products and services for consumers in this industry?” I’m sure Musk’s version of this question is much better than mine.
The innovative approach adopted by Musk in all his companies has seen him create new products that his competitors have struggled to replicate despite having more resources and experience. Musk’s story is the classic tale of the underdog who rises to dominate an industry and fell the existing giants who ruled the industry before his appearance (in a David vs. Goliath kinda way).
Now, back to the postponed launch, I was talking to a colleague earlier today expressing my frustrations about the launch, and he mentioned that he is worried the astronauts might die. Well, I’m sure many people share a similar fear as do I, but I am confident that both NASA and SpaceX have taken every precaution to prevent such a horrifying outcome.
Regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s launch, the space industry will never be the same again as SpaceX and other private companies such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have revolutionised the industry. Due to these three companies, we can now look forward to space tourism in the near future, and maybe even to space colonisation as human beings conquer other planets and establish space colonies. Well, this one might take a while.