Elon Musk, the mind behind PayPal and Tesla brings his visionary appeal to another level in designing Space X. Space X is an American aerospace manufacturer and transport service company that was found in 2012 with the goal of creating technologies to reduce space transportation costs to enable Mars to be colonized. In the long run, they aim to create products providing the ability for a multi-planetary human existence.

Space X is funded by government subsidies and contracts with multiple entities. The goal is that building reusable rockets and making space travel affordable to the general public. In fact, commercialization, in this case, refers to the idea that the private sector will market technology currently used by the government and develop new technology with either no or minimal government assistance.

As a whole, estimates value the worth of SpaceX at roughly $12 billion dollars. The current SpaceX services, for sale to large organizations, advertise prices between $62 million and $90 million for launch services. A financial analysis of these list prices for services assumes SpaceX will gain a 40% gross margin per launch, leaving the cost per launch for SpaceX equating to approximately $37 million.


Space X has created two launch vehicles: Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 designed to be reusable. To reduce space transportation costs and enable Mars to be colonized.

The escape rockets, which are used to pull the ship away from the booster in the event of a fire or possible explosion, are not mounted in a tower above the capsule, as they were in the Apollo and Mercury days. Instead, they are built into its base, pushing the capsule away, instead of pulling it.

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This helps the Dragon achieve one of its other goals: reusability. The spacecraft and escape system are not simply thrown away after use but could instead be cleaned up, checked out and configured for another flight.

If the projected reusability of SpaceX rockets becomes standard practice, estimates project a 30% per launch cost reduction, translating to a $20 million drop per launch of the Falcon 9. Once the market opens for the common person, expected individual ticket prices land between $140,000 - $200,000, at a 100-passenger capacity. Musk has also stated he expects to increase the passenger load to over 200 people, which could eventually decrease ticket prices to $100,000 or below.

Space X and NASA

NASA, the U.S. aerospace government agency, fills the role of both competitor and partner for SpaceX. Founded in 1958, NASA has led the aerospace industry since their conception and has been on and around Mars, via robotic missions, for over 40 years. NASA is credited as one of the first organizations to entertain the idea of establishing sustainable human life on Mars, and they have taken considerable steps to demonstrate this as a viable and worthy mission; in this regard, NASA paved the way for organizations like SpaceX to exist.

In 2015, NASA released a detailed plan outlining their next steps in the journey to Mars, clearly exhibiting the organization, similarly to SpaceX, also intends to create modes of transportation for humans to reach Mars.

In 2014, NASA awarded SpaceX a $2.6 billion grant to help facilitate further development.29 As a part of this, they have signed a contract, with an estimated worth of roughly $700 million, for SpaceX to make five deliveries to the International Space Station using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Dragon.

In 2014, SpaceX released total combined development costs for both the Falcon 9 and the Dragon capsule. NASA provided US$396 million while SpaceX provided over US$450 million to fund rocket and capsule development efforts. With the support of NASA behind them, SpaceX has launched six successful missions thus far and currently have plans to continue revolutionizing their work.