With Elon Musk, It is rocket science!

                                                                   spacex-toppermanual

After selling PayPal for $1.5 billion dollars to Ebay in 2002 visionary Elon Musk could not just sit back and enjoy his multimillion achievement. He had greater things in mind, Space X. In 2002, Elon Musk invested his own money and founded the first private space company, which today opens the doors to space exploration again. After Nasa retired their 30 year program in 2011, many people thought that space exploration would come to an end. Elon’s goal was to make people believe in space again, and so he did. The idea of building shuttles and sending them to space seemed oddly expensive. One of the reasons why NASA retired after 30 years was the extremely high expense of building, fueling, manning, and sending just a single shuttle into space. Elon knew how expensive it was to maintain a space program like NASA so he started SpaceX with a particular goal in mind. What was this goal? To make spaceflight routine and affordable. In addition, to make humans a multi-planetary species. So how did he do it and how does he continue to strive to reach these goals?

Rocket Science                                                         elon_musk_portrait_by_lewis3222-d51e46s

  1. Understand why building rockets was so expensive

  2. Figure out how to go to orbit cheaper by lowering the cost by a third

  3. Hire NASA’s veteran engineers as well as passionate young engineers

  4. Break through barriers (literally and figuratively) even though the odds were astronomical (pun intended)

  5. Create a sustainable and reusable system to maintain lower costs

  6. Make more than 70% of each launch vehicle manufactured and assembled at the SpaceX Hawthorne production facility in order to avoid pitfalls associated with single source parts dependency

  7. Name his first two shuttle Falcon and Dragon (just because he can)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            v2_interior_wide            article-2643186-1E52F3A300000578-946_634x414

8. Establish a viable business plan by charging other countries to send cargo to the ISS

9. Secure a 6.8 billion dollar contract from NASA along with Boeing to finish designs, build, test and ultimately fly crews to the ISS

10. Become the real life Iron Man

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It took more than a decade to accomplish what people never thought would be possible. Only world superpowers had been able to accomplish the same feats Elon did before he accepted the challenge. Even though the odds were not always in  his favor, his operation management and business skills were what lead SpaceX to be the first private company to ever launch a rocket out of Space. What is something else no one thought would be possible that was accomplished by a single man and his vision? Would you change anything about how Elon runs SpaceX or the process taken to accomplish his goals? Why were his operations management skills so essential to achieve his goal?

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2014/09/16/nasa-awards-boeing-and-spacex-contracts-to-deliver-astronauts-to-the-space-station/

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-09-13/elon-musk-the-21st-century-industrialist

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tesla-and-spacex-elon-musks-industrial-empire/

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “With Elon Musk, It is rocket science!

  1. I liked your post as it summarized SpaceX and how it was able to become successful quite well. I am personally in awe of what Elon Musk can do because he seems to be able to do whatever he wants to do as he even owns Tesla Motors, a company that sells impressive electric cars. I don’t think people should doubt Elon and his many plans for the future. I believe that he also wants to make an immense traveling system called the hyperloop from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Knowing him, he probably will accomplish it. What can I say? The man is capable of great things.

  2. Elon Musk is the man! He took on a HUGE project and he broke it down into achievable goals. With stories like his I feel like nothing is impossible. SpaceX and Tesla are still in their beginning stages, but they are going to grow. In a few decades I’m curious to see how the price of private space travel changes. I can’t afford to go to space right now, but I hope it becomes more affordable in the future.

  3. This post is very relevant because of the upcoming announcement that Tesla is going to reveal in the coming weeks. From the stuff I know about him and from what you have written I truly get the Tony Sparks feel from Elon. Steve Jobs is another influential person he reminds me of just because of the sheer innovation his companies are producing. I believe that Elon is going to revolutionize the space industry and even more so the car industry, like how Steve Jobs and Apple revolutionized the phone.

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