This first account of commercial spaceflight’s most successful venture describes the extraordinary feats of engineering and human achievement that have placed SpaceX at the forefront of the launch industry and made it the most likely candidate for transporting humans to Mars. Since its inception in 2002, SpaceX has sought to change the space launch paradigm by developing a family of launch vehicles that will ultimately reduce the cost and increase the reliability of space access tenfold. Coupled with the newly emerging market for governmental, private, and commercial space transport, this new model will re-ignite humanity's efforts to explore and develop space.
Formed in 2002 by Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal and the Zip2 Corporation, SpaceX has already developed two state-of-the-art new launch vehicles, established an impressive launch manifest, and been awarded COTS funding by NASA to demonstrate delivery and return of cargo to the ISS.
This book describes how simplicity, low-cost, and reliability can go hand in hand, as promoted in the philosophy of SpaceX. It explains how, by eliminating the traditional layers of internal management and external sub-contractors and keeping the vast majority of manufacturing in house, SpaceX reduces its costs while accelerating decision making and delivery, controls quality, and ensures constant liaison between the design and manufacturing teams.
Describes the vision, leadership, and goals for Elon Musk, head of SpaceX Details the development of the Falcon 1,9 and the Falcon Heavy rockets and the technology of the Merlin engines Examines the hardware and software designed and built by SpaceX Introduces current SpaceX projects, including the Grasshopper reusable launch vehicle and the Stratolaunch System