The other day I watched a documentary called The Mars Generation in which a couple of self confessed "Space Nerds" attend a camp known as Space Camp, which is like a kids summer camp, but for wannabe rocket scientists (Which is, no doubt, run by NASA). In the doco, they do challenges and things to do with nerdy space stuff. ( When I say "nerdy" I mean cool. I am also a self confessed "Space Nerd" and am currently saving my pocket money to go to this camp, which could be rather costly as I live, quite literally, on the other side of the world. But hey - we'll get there. )
So at one point, Space X, A private space company founded by Elon Musk, is introduced into the mix. Now, before this documentary I knew little about Space X, only about the Dragon Capsule, which was the only private capsule (so far) to dock with the International Space Station (or ISS for short). As I watched the movie, I saw the true capabilities of this company.
Now, firstly before I get into the juicy stuff, I'd just like to give old Elon Musk a pat on the back. This guy went through heaps. He was bullied at school, at one point being thrown down the stairs and being beaten until he lost consciousness. Elon then went on to make a BASIC video game called Blastar, which he sold to a tech magazine for $500. After that, he founded many companies such as Paypal, Tesla Inc, and Space X. Just so you guys are in the know, Elon's worth a cool 15.4 billion dollars and is seen as one of the most powerful men on earth. Let's just say hes got fingers in a lot of different pies.
Now, Space X itself. The company itself is seen as a very real prospect for travel to mars as soon as 2020. I want to talk about their space ships, and concepts for interplanetary travel.
The first is the Dragon Capsule. In a nutshell, the Dragon is a capsule capable of carrying cargo or people into orbiting destinations. The craft made history as the only private craft to dock with the ISS and safely return cargo to Earth. I'll explain how this could be useful in a minute. Link Here
Next is the Falcon 9, which is the rocket that gets the Dragon Capsule into orbit. It is a two-stage rocket (which it means that one part of it breaks off when the fuel is depleted in that part) capable of delivering payloads such as satellites (or the Dragon) into orbit. This is definitely my favourite space craft as the stage that breaks off is able to remotely land onto a landing pad, making it the first fully reusable rocket. Link Here
Finally, the Falcon 9 Heavy. This is the most powerful rocket ever, with about 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. The rocket is so powerful, it could be the rocket that takes us to Mars. Link Here
I wanted to look at how this stuff could affect me, and us as a species. In my eyes, Mars could be colonized like this: The Falcon 9 Heavy would take us to Mars' orbit, then send a couple more and build an orbiting space station, from which Dragon Capsules could be used to deliver cargo to and from the space station. From there, a base on the surface could be set up and a fuel plant that utilizes methane to fuel spacecraft to fuel more Falcon 9s or Heavy's. Something like that.
We are, quite possibly the Mars generation, which means that people like me could be blasting off to the Red Planet in the next decade. Wow. Look at how far we've come. From the Apollo missions, powered by a computer less powerful than a calculator, to the possibility of traveling to, and living on Mars.
Well, that just about wraps it up for today's post. Thank you for reading, and be sure to like, comment, subscribe, all of that good stuff. Bye!