Why is Elon Musk’s SpaceX able to achieve feats of engineering that entire countries have been unable to pull off? Partly because they have a different view of failure than play-it-safe government agencies.
Failure is the cost of doing business.
The only way to discover the points of failure in a rocket program like the one Elon is engaged in is to blow up a lot of rockets to find out where the mathematical models and the real-life engineering don’t quite line up.
Because they have not shied away from failure, they have created a program where rockets can be safely landed back on drone ships, recovered, and reused. They have created a program so robust that it can launch multiple rockets from different places on the same day. They have given NASA an alternative to hitching a ride with the Russian space program for getting our astronauts to space.
Elon has been driven by his dream of creating a way for people to travel to Mars. That’s why he built, and is test-launching, the largest rocket ever made. The good news is that we achieved lift-off.
The better news is that they have data to work with to figure out what happened with the separation that made it go ‘boom’ about four minutes after lift-off.
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