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In the upcoming years, SpaceX has extremely high ambitions for space travel to Mars

The millionaire brainiac behind the Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) program has high ambitions of future private space exploration. Founder Elon Musk seeks a trip to the Red Planet of Mars before NASA's mid-2030s current projected timeframe.

Of course, Musk and SpaceX have delayed projects and failed tests in the past, but have shown great promise in current projects. SpaceX also continues to collect funds from NASA and other contractors looking to help go into space.

NASA's interest on the private sector relies on the hope of being able to use the SpaceX Dragon as an astronaut ferry into space, while the Falcon Heavy can carry cargo. The SpaceX Falcon Heavy successfully broke the $1,000-per-pound-to-orbit barrier at a time when space industry experts thought it couldn't be done at the time.

NASA and the US federal government are relying more on private contractors to help in the future -- SpaceX and its rivals will be more than happy to pick up the research slack. The SpaceX Dragon capsule may be prepared for launch in the next five years, with thoughts also on manned mission to Mars. Until then, the company recently announced it will invest $30 million for Space Launch Complex 4-East, located at Vandenberg Air Force Base. 

It's believed up to 1,000 employees could be employed at the facility in the next four years. SpaceX plans to launch aircraft and test projects from the popular launching site, while competitors look for other launch sites.

The private space market is growing with even more companies trying to snag government funding -- and SpaceX will have to face the United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket, along with foreign-based projects.

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By jhb116 on 7/17/2011 6:44:48 AM , Rating: 2
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy successfully broke the $1,000-per-pound-to-orbit barrier.......

Huh - the Falcon Heavy is still a paper project. How about we wait until they actually launch one or three to determine if there is truth to their claims. Don't get me wrong - I wish them luck..

Remember the Space Shuttle was sold on a similar line of cheap access to space and ULA (essentially the merger of Boeing and Lockheed for launch business) was also suppose to save money as well - both have since proved false.....

RE: What?
By TheCastle on 7/17/2011 6:23:29 PM , Rating: 1
Yup space-x is still a lot of paper.

Its one thing to do a single test flight, its a whole different thing to launch 50+ rockets reliably, on time, and on cost.

RE: What?
By FPP on 8/7/2011 1:56:01 AM , Rating: 2
I'll buy that, if you buy into the fact that:

No falcon has failed, yet, on the pad.

The falcon engines and all hardware are now flight tested, which also applies to the 9 heavy

That said, the do still have something to prove, but the manifest seems to speak volumes to the confidence from their customers.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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