Elon Musk certainly didn't have a case of the Sunday Scaries.
The mastermind behind the “Big F*cking Rocket” announced that SpaceX would be ready to take its maiden manned voyage in 2020. According to Musk, NASA can fire the real-life humans into orbit between April and June. No more hitchhiking with the Russians?
Musk’s confidence follows a successful escape pod launch test on Sunday, in which SpaceX intentionally destroyed one of its rockets, and confirmed that its in-flight abort function does indeed work. That’s got to be a reassuring sight to an astronaut.
NASA hasn’t sent astronauts into space on its own since 2011 when the US Space Shuttle program was discontinued. F*cking nerds. Since then, they’ve been paying Russia to take US moon men to the International Space Station.
NASA will still be paying, ut would keep the money stateside, as it agreed to pay SpaceX $55M per astronaut. NASA also paid SpaceX $3.1B to build the capsule.
The final frontier
And when the first rocket with laypeople heads to space in 2023, you can bet your ass that Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be on board. Maezawa bought his ticket for an undisclosed amount ... an amount which Elon Musk (a billionaire) said is “a lot of money.”
Now, all Maezawa needs to do is find someone to go with him, which he’s trying to do via a website that resembles a dating profile. The site says applicants should be single, over the age of 20, always positive and have an interest in going to space.
Nothing says “implication” quite like spending a few days in orbit.
The bottom line ...
For SpaceX, the next step will be figuring out how to find customers that can afford trips to space. It will also need to fend off competition from Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin and Boeing. Keeping the 737 Max manufacturer at bay shouldn’t be too difficult, considering Boeing literally shot its rocket into the wrong orbit recently.
NASA, on the other hand, will likely be able to start sending even more astronauts to space, helping the US build on its legacy of intergalactic greatness. *USA chant erupts*
Elon Musk says first SpaceX launch with NASA astronauts likely between April and June [CNBC]