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A new era started in Space exploration! Many opportunities in aerospace engineering!

Posted on July 9, 2020
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Aerospace Engineering in U.S.

Students who specialize in Space technology keenly watch the latest developments in this field, especially what is happening at NASA. The achievements of SpaceX in the recent weeks gives a new momentum to the research in space technology.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. trading as SpaceX, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars. SpaceX has developed several launch vehicles and the Dragon spacecraft.

Some of its achievements are:

  • The first privately funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit (Falcon 1 in 2008)
  • The first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft (Dragon in 2010)
  • The first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (Dragon in 2012)
  • The first propulsive landing for an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2015)
  • The first reuse of an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2017)
  • The first private company to launch an object into orbit around the Sun (Falcon Heavy’s payload of a Tesla Roadster in 2018)
  • The first private company to send astronauts to the International Space Station (Dragon 2 in 2020)

SpaceX has flown 20 resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS) under a partnership with NASA. NASA also awarded SpaceX a further development contract in 2011 to develop and demonstrate a human-rated Dragon, which would be used to transport astronauts to the ISS and return them safely to Earth.

On May 30, 2020, SpaceX successfully launched two NASA astronauts (Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken) into orbit on a Crew Dragon spacecraft during SpaceX Demo-2, making SpaceX the first private company to send astronauts to the International Space Station and marking the first crewed launch from American soil in 9 years. The mission launched from Launch Complex 39A of the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. SpaceX Demo-2 successfully docked with the ISS on May 31, 2020.

Indian connection –

The chief engineer for SpaceX falcon 9 is an Indian, Balachander Ramamurthy. He has been working at SpaceX for the last 9 years.

Ahmedabad`s Ham Radio enthusiast Adhir Saiyadh says he got connected with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon space capsule when it passed over India on May 30, 2020.

About the Mission:  

World over many private companies get involved in space missions. 

Even in India, many private organizations collaborate with (ISRO), in building and fabricating the components that go into making rockets and satellites. There are several such companies that have started making satellites for their own use, or for their clients.  

However, launch services, including the building of rockets or launch vehicles to take the satellites into space, is still not achieved in India right now.  

Students at IIST (Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology) aim at going to NASA to specialize and do research. Many Indian students are already there working with organizations like SpaceX. So, for those who are planning to achieve great things like Elon Musk, USA is the right destination.  

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