Over the last year there has been different things that have drawn my attention, one of the most common has been the man who Robert Downey Jr. turned to for inspiration when he was picked to play Tony Stark, the techno-genius billionaire, Elon Musk. (mnn) From Tesla Motors to the Hyperloop, I’ve become a massive fan of the man and his work, especially his plans to create a real version of the Iron Man lab. (theverge) Whenever there’s been a story involving him I haven’t been able to turn away because the stories are almost always intriguing, and typically they involved some type of amazing technological advance. (huffingtonpost) With all of the marvels he has created in his career one has stepped up above the rest in recent months, his program Space X has become one of the most interesting programs to come along in quite some time. Space X recently launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral to carry a payload to the International Space Station, the rocket sent up wasn’t just carrying cargo for the current inhabitants of the ISS. The rocket launched was a Falcon 9R, a reusable rocket that could eventually revolutionize space travel. (WKMG)
The one part that’s been the most difficult to accomplish in the attempt to create a reusable rocket has been creating a soft landing. (Yahoo) From all reports, the Falcon 9R that was launched came back down and achieved a successful soft landing in the Atlantic Ocean, the downside is that the rocket won’t be able to be recovered or reused due to damage created by the rough seas in which it landed. (Time) If this is true then the next step is testing the ability to achieve a soft landing on a solid Earth location, with that milestone reached it could finally be possible for rockets to be launched from one spot, come back to that spot, and be used again, possibly even the next day. In order to achieve his lofty goals (which seems to include colonizing Mars) it seems Musk may have to sue the US Government because he currently isn’t able to bid on a contract that would allow Space X to become the provider of rockets for NASA, a position that is currently held by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin who happen to be two of the three biggest defense contractors in the world. (WashingtonPost)
Musk is a visionary, he’s on the pulse of everything technological these days it seems, passing up on his program for rocket launches seems like a completely horrible idea. He claims that he can do it for much less than the current deal worked out with ULA, but due to Space X not having the proper certification for Air Force approval yet they’ve been left on the sidelines. Space X is navigating the certification process and should reach the finish line in the coming months, Musk is calling on the Air Force to cancel their current contract and put it up for bid once his program is officially certified. (CNBC) Musk claims he isn’t saying Space X should be awarded the contract, but he feels they should at least be allowed to bid, if the lose that bid he’s fine with it, he just wants a fair shot. Considering all of the advances created by Elon Musk I believe he should be given a chance as well, if he can save the Government money on space travel that would seem a great benefit to the economy. At the end of the day, is saving money on a massive level really a bad thing?