Elon Musk is quite a divisive figure. He's the owner of SpaceX and Tesla, two companies pushing the boundaries of what can be done with space travel and automobiles respectively. Just looking at his accomplishments in those fields, it's easy to see how important his contributions have been.
As far as divisiveness, most recently he was seen smoking marijuana on the Joe Rogan Podcast, which sent the stocks soaring down. Understandably, shareholders did not respond well to their CEO openly using drugs. Despite that, Elon Musk continues to push forward with his big dreams of electric vehicles and space travel.
As mentioned before, one of his biggest projects is SpaceX, which is a way to send civilians to space. It sounds like something out of the future, but the future is now. Elon Musk may break new grounds for normal people like you and I. Recently he shared some new photos of his civilian shuttles for SpaceX.
The rocket that Elon Musk plans to send to Mars is known as the Big Falcon Rocket or BFR. As recently as September 17, Musk made several announcements regarding the BFR, including showing launch renderings and work photos. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the first person flying around the moon on the BFR. This is the newest news we've received since five months ago in April.
A senior space analyst from the Teal Group, Marco Caceres, told Business Insider: "It's unusual for companies and even government agencies that develop rockets to reveal much about the hardware they're developing. But what Musk wants to do is to bring along the public with him. He lives and breathes this company. So when he has hardware that he's excited about, he just wants to show it and be as transparent as possible."
The launch system will be comprised out of two parts, the main bulk of which is the 230-foot-tall rocket booster. The main ship rides on top of the booster, standing at 180-feet-tall. This is similar to the designs we've typically seen for space launches. According to Musk, the hardest part to build is the spaceship. SpaceX will be working hard on prototypes for that aspect of the design.
These ships have to do more than simply leave Earth's orbit. The plan will be for the spaceship to refuel while it orbits Earth, and then make its journey to Mars where it can land, then return safely to Earth. According to the designs, it is a reusable craft, so that described journey can happen again and again. It is truly a move toward a consumer model.
The venture is not cheap. SpaceX is building the rocket using carbon fibre technology. The giant tubes shown in the picture are uses to slowly wrap layer upon layer of carbon fiber until there is a large, strong carbon fibre tube to use as the barrel section. Marco Caceres told Business Insider: "He's looking for investors because he's not Jeff Bezos, who could probably do this on his own. Musk is not as wealthy. He can look for investors by building stuff and showing it off. If you see how much hardware he has and how big it is, people will say, 'Yeah, this is a serious program.'"
Elon Musk has brought SpaceX being a laughingstock to a serious contender in the industry. Other companies are taking note, and while Elon Musk may be an over-the-top personality, he's not to be taken lightly.