What is SpaceX?
THE HANS INDIA |
May 16,2017 , 04:57 AM IST
SpaceX launched a "behemoth" commercial communications satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Centre on Monday. Weighing in at nearly 13,500 pounds (6,123.4 kgs) atop the rocket, the fourth Inmarsat-5 satellite will be the heaviest load lofted by a Falcon 9 yet, Floridatoday.com reported.
"Inmarsat-5 F4 (I-5 F4) will boost the power of our award-winning Global Xpress network, which has been delivering seamless, high-speed broadband connectivity across the world since December 2015," the London-based mobile satellite services provider said in a statement. Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, better known as SpaceX, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California.
Its founder Elon Musk was behind PayPal and Tesla. SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. SpaceX offers competitive pricing for its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch services. Modest discounts are available, for contractually committed, multi-launch purchases.
SpaceX can also offer crew transportation services to commercial customers seeking to transport astronauts to alternate LEO destinations. SpaceX's achievements include the first privately funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit (Falcon 1 in 2008); the first privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft (Dragon in 2010); the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (Dragon in 2012), and the first propulsive landing for an orbital rocket.
As of March 2017, SpaceX has since flown ten missions to the International Space Station (ISS) under a cargo resupply contract. NASA also awarded SpaceX a further development contract in 2011 to develop and demonstrate a human-rated Dragon, which would be used to transport astronauts to the ISS and return them safely to Earth, according to Wikipedia. Its setbacks include explosion of a Falcon 9 during a propellant fill operation for a standard pre-launch static fire test in September 2016. Earlier, it had failed in 2015 and 2013.
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