SpaceX: 10 Facts about the Elon Musk founded private space startup you didn’t know

1.The company was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk.

Elon Musk Facts

After spending 18 months toiling privately on a spacecraft, SpaceX unveiled the vehicle in 2006 under the name Dragon. Musk reportedly named the spacecraft after “Puff, the Magic Dragon.”

2. Dragon’s first payload was a wheel of cheese.

Image: SpaceX

The wheel of cheese was launched in honor of a classic skit from actor John Cleese in the British comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

3. SpaceX isn’t actually the company’s real name. 

The company’s full name is Space Exploration Technologies Corporation.

4. Elon Musk provided a large amount of inspiration for the Hollywood character Tony Stark.

Image: Disney / “Iron Man 2”

In fact, parts of Iron Man 2 were actually filmed inside and outside of SpaceX. Musk even has a cameo in the film! Robert Downey Jr. himself has said that he took inspiration from Elon Musk.

5. They’re the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.

Image: NASA – STS-135 Shuttle Mission

6.Musk has reduced the cost of reaching the International Space Station by 90%, bringing it down from $1 billion per mission to just $60 million

This is due to the amazing technology built into SpaceX’s reusable rockets, that aims to replace aircraft one day!

7. It’s CEO currently spends only half his time on SpaceX.

He works in Southern California, at SpaceX, for half of the week, and works at Tesla for the other half.

8. The Falcon 9 is named after the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.

Image: Star Wars

The “9” denotes the number of rocket engines a rocket has.

9. They almost ran out of money.

SpaceX’s first rocket, the Falcon 1, failed to reach orbit three out of five attempted launches. They succeeded in their fourth launch, but the company almost ran out of money. 

Image: Mark Handley/University College London

SpaceX intends to provide satellite internet connectivity to underserved areas of the planet, as well as provide competitively priced service to urban areas. 

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