-Aadi Shiv Malhotra (‘21)
Kennedy Space Center, Florida – Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, managed to launch its massive 230 feet, or 70 metres, tall Falcon Heavy rocket into space, and inside it was Elon Musk’s personal red Tesla Roadster. This rocket is the largest rocket to launch since 1973, when the largest rocket ever made, the Saturn V, was launched into space for the last time.
The aim of this rocket is to send objects, such as satellites, into space for a relatively low cost. The Falcon Heavy Rocket cost $90 million dollars to launch, which is $30 million dollars more expensive than SpaceX’s smaller Falcon 9 rocket. While NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket has a price tag of $500 million and is currently designed as a non-reusable rocket, the Falcon Heavy boasts reusable rockets and a price tag almost a sixth of the SLS, all while having a capacity of only 20% less than the SLS. In the future, the versatility and relative inexpensiveness of the Falcon Heavy and rockets like it may provide an alternative to our current costly space delivery systems.
Skeptics say that the Falcon Heavy is unnecessary in today’s age because the Falcon 9 has gotten more and more powerful over its years of development in addition to the fact that satellites have become smaller to conserve space and launching costs. However, Elon Musk, the majority of people in this field and I disagree. The space business is worth more than $300 billion dollars and is only expected to rise. SpaceX new rocket can carry twice the load of its competitors for a fifth of the cost. In the near future, when more and more satellites and rovers are being sent to the Moon and Mars, we need a rocket that can carry a lot of materials for a low cost and can be reused. Even NASA recognizes these benefits and currently utilizes the Falcon 9 for deliveries to the International Space Station.
But how does this article affect you as a reader? Well, as humanity expands its horizons towards the stars, the space industry is going to be a big field for new talent and technologies. From NASA to SpaceX, Blue Origin to Orbital Sciences, all the way to groups such as TeamIndus, every day dedicated individuals are trying to unravel the mysteries of our final frontier. The IA has some of the smartest people in our area, and perhaps in the near future, we too will be among the ranks of those dedicated individuals searching for answers. Whether we conduct this search from the deserts of Mars or the craters of the Moon, I am certain that if it is our generation at the helm of this search, the infinity of the cosmos will be our new playground.