What is SpaceX

SpaceX is a company that aims to reduce the cost of space transportation with the long-term goal of creating a colony on Mars.


US billionaire and entrepreneur Elon Musk formed the business in California in 2002 out of a project called Mars Oasis that explored ways to send a mini greenhouse to the Red Planet to grow interplanetary plants.


Case study of SpaceX

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is a privately-held launch vehicle developer and launch services provider with an ambitious goal: to revolutionize the commercial space industry. SpaceX aims to revolutionize the commercial space indus-try with rockets that cut the cost of a launch by a factor of 10.


The company was founded by Elon Musk, whose previous businesses gave him the wherewithal to get into the space-for-hire market. Musk started SpaceX in 2002 and to date the company has launched several of the Falcon 1 rockets.


The two-stage, liquid oxygen and kerosene-powered rocket can lift a half ton into low-earth orbit for a price of about $6 million. This is one-third the cost of other currently available options. The rockets have all been launched from the Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific.


SpaceX has also been developing the Falcon 9 rocket, which supports the medium- to heavy-class launch market. SpaceX was recently awarded the NASA COTS contract. SpaceX was specifically selected by NASA to demonstrate delivery and return of cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). At the option of NASA, the agreement can be extended to include demonstrating transport of crew to and from the International Space Station. If successful, NASA will have the ability to use the demonstrated capability to resupply the ISS after the 2010 retirement of the Space Shuttle.


SpaceX has modeled the entire Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets and the Dragon capsule in NX. The software has no trouble handling more than 25,000-part assemblies. Once loaded, a virtual mockup of the rocket enables designers to readily find interferences. A major benefit in working with large assemblies is “designing in context,” which allows various component parts to be developed and completed all while working in the assembly. Designing in context means immediate feedback relative to fit and feasibility. Conversely, without the ability to load all the relevant components around the area of concern, designing the components to fit precisely is a much more difficult and time-consuming task. In addition to NX’s assembly strengths, SpaceX designers use NX to simulate motion, such as the separation between the first and second stages, to further check their work.

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