If there are any frontiers left worth exploring, then space might hold the final answers. The space race has once again heated up in earnest and no longer is it country vs. country. Instead, the space race is all about private companies embracing what was once thought to be impossible in order to be the first group to do it. Right now, SpaceX is the definitive name in privatized space technology and there is a good reason for that. Throughout 2017, SpaceX worked hard to reclaim their pole position in the industry and it looks like their hard work is finally starting to pay off in a big way.
When 2017 started, SpaceX was coming off of one of their worst years ever as a company. SpaceX had sidelined their rocket launches since the Flacon 9 exploded on its launch pad the previous September. This accident caused SpaceX to push back a ton of work while causing the company to really question their abilities in the industry. Fortunately, Elon Musk’s team didn’t give up and pack it in — they doubled down and started to find some answers. That brings us to January 14th, 2017 when SpaceX returned to successfully launching rockets into space. This initial launch would set the table for SpaceX’s most fulfilled year of all time as the company would go on to launch 18 total rockets throughout the year, doubling up 2016’s numbers with ease.
While rocket launches steal the show and captivate audiences around the world, the real game-changer is the technology that SpaceX is improving upon behind the scenes. SpaceX has committed to re-usable rocket technology and it finally looks like this is paying off. SpaceX has been able to launch more frequently, for a lower price, while being more effective all of the same. March was an important month for the company as they put up their first ‘previously used’ rocket, even landing it a second time after its mission to the International Space Station.
Most importantly of all, SpaceX looks to have made an integral connection with the United States government that could be fruitful longterm. SpaceX has become a frequent partner to the United States government and the two parties have secured payloads together several times, including recurring trips to the International Space Station. What does this all mean? Well, it sets the table for an even bigger year for SpaceX when 2018 rolls around.