12/02/2008

American Genius - SpaceX




For more SpaceX videos, click here.
Ever since the close of the Western Frontier exploring Outer Space has become the way for American's to continue their progress to the next stage of evolution. It is a very American idea. From Buck Rodgers to the Twilight Zone to the Outer Limits to Star Trek to the Mercury and Apollo programs, Outer Space has called Americans to discover, explore, find and conquer the natural elements to travel and live in its vast expanse.
SpaceX is a company that every day is undertaking the hard work, millions of tasks, and miracles taking us to Outer Space . I have followed it since its founding by Elon Must, who also founded PayPal and Zip2 corporation, since 2002.
Take a tour of Elon's company. The interior design has much to offer executives who want to get their employees to work together. My favorite line is where he gives credit to the scientists and engineers for making us a "space-faring civilization."
As a consultant who worked at NASA on Apollo once told me, "Apollo was a success because it was 400,000 private sector employees being managed by 50,000 government contract administrators." Space X goes even further, designing, building, testing and launching it own rockets for private sector companies and governments.
SpaceX is proving that the journey to space will be won by private companies like it that are lean, efficient, driven, and who hire brilliiant technicians and engineers.
Here is how SpaceX describes its mission:


"Although drawing upon a rich history of prior launch vehicle and engine programs, SpaceX is privately developing the Dragon crew and cargo capsule and the Falcon family of rockets from the ground up, including main and upper stage engines, the cryogenic tank structure, avionics, guidance & control software and ground support equipment.
With the Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy launch vehicles, SpaceX is able to offer a full spectrum of light, medium and heavy lift launch capabilities to our customers. We are able to deliver spacecraft into any inclination and altitude, from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit to planetary missions. The Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy are the only US launch vehicles with true engine out reliability.
They are also designed such that all stages are reusable, making them the world's first fully reusable launch vehicles. And our Dragon crew and cargo capsule, currently under development, will revolutionize access to space by providing efficient and reliable transport of crew and cargo to the ISS and other LEO destinations.
Our design and manufacturing facilities are located near the Los Angeles International airport, leveraging the deep and rich aerospace talent pool available in Southern California .
Our extensive propulsion and structural test facilities are located in Central Texas. We currently have launch complexes available in Vandenberg and Kwajalein Island , and in April 2007 we were granted use of and began developing Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral."


In his B-24, my Uncle Frank used to bomb the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy on Kwajalein, and it is good to see this island being used instead by SpaceX as a launch platform 65 years later.
When I was young, despite the horror of the Vietnam War and all the other bad news in the 60's and 70's, there was always the drama, inspiration and excitement of the Mercury and Apollo space programs. As I watch the Space X videos, that sense of wonder is rekindled.
I have collected space memorabilia and studied the space program and space-related businesses (for investment reasons) for years. For its brief history, Space X 
understands well the lessons of Mercury and Apollo (good and bad) and is taking us to the next stage of America's journey into space.
In the early 1990's, in a bid for financial freedom, I published a space financial newsletter until I discovered Phillips Publishing was doing the same but so much better. Still, I've stayed up on various space companies ever since. This one is a winner.
If I had large sums to invest, and if it was a public company, I would invest in
SpaceX.

No comments: