Cold War brought with it a boom and aerospace. Namely the arms race and technology between the two superpowers – the U.S. and the Soviet Union – led to the launch of the first human in space and landing on the foot of man on the moon. Fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 changed quite aspects – one of them is cutting government spending to explore the great expanse beyond Earth’s atmosphere. This led to a cooperating individual countries and the construction of the International Space Station (ISS). Despite reduced funding state institutions were monopoly in this area, regardless of whether the United States or Russia. Space exploration continues to be associated with national security and that limit access to private companies, the main players are representatives of the military-industrial complex. But this model is starting to crack, there are already several private initiatives working on providing full service – Launch of persons and goods, and in time to the Moon and Mars.

Billionaire entrepreneur and technological Elon Musk is one of those exceptions and his company SpaceX is already providing real services – first time on export cargo space, and is a step by sending people with their missiles and equipment. Regardless of the success of Musk and his contracts with NASA, he faces a harsh reality that puts military corporations attempts to entrepreneurs when it comes to ensuring a large government contracts.

Private efficiency

SpaceX is the first private company that offers a real working service launching cargo into Earth orbit. It builds almost everything from scratch in a few years. In order to optimize the cost Musk does not rely on external suppliers and develop all within the company, including the most complicated part in a rocket – engine. The first booster rocket Falcon-1 with power plants Merlin, Kestrel, and Draco are entirely privately funded by the developer. Success comes with stunning pace. First SpaceX signed a contract with NASA to fund prototype to deliver cargo to the ISS. This happens in 2006 – two years after the company fired rocket Falcon-1 in orbit. Subsequently, the team develops and shuttle Musk – ship after being launched into space, to be able to return back to Earth. Dragon prototype made in 2010, and two years later docks with ISS and delivering food to researchers there. SpaceX signed a contract for the implementation of 12 flights to the station and delivery supplies. In the same year the company began using rocket Falcon-9, which has so far not one failed start. Total SpaceX conducted 50 successful launches and signed contracts for nearly $ 5 billion. The company presented a version of Dragon, which can accommodate up to seven crew and the first flight is expected of people on board to be implemented in 2015

Low Cost

Society of Musk was quite attractive to companies that want to bring satellites into orbit. This is due to the low price you have to pay, compared to that when using traditional operators. Successful operation of SpaceX it opened doors to offer its missiles precisely for such services. It has concluded a number of contracts with corporations who want to bring their own satellites into orbit. In the calendar of the company are scheduled only nine launches this year. Ie 2014 will be crucial for the development of SpaceX, because it will show whether the venture of Musk can fulfill orders from private customers within and with what efficiency. The company signed a contract with Orbcomm in putting 17 satellites divided into two places. In addition there are three planned missions to the ISS in August, September and December, which are part of a contract with NASA to supply provisions for the station. SpaceX has a contract for the removal of two large satellites of Hong Kong operator AsiaSat, each of which will be launched with a booster rocket. Asian company is insured and maintained chance to put satellites by rival Musk – International Launch Services (ILS). AsiaSat announced that SpaceX service cost 52.2 million dollars, whereas if you make it through the ILS, it goes double – 107 million dollars. Ordering Obrcomm for $ 43 million. According to industry experts such prices are unavailable to competing with Musk launchers.

The first launch of the Falcon-9 this year, however, was scheduled in May, but was postponed due to technical reasons. He had put the first batch of satellites Obrcomm. Do not know if SpaceX will execute the first launch of the order of AsiaSat time. Deferred starts calling into question the entire calendar of the company. Low prices that it offers, however, currently compensate disadvantages suffered by her clients This gives SpaceX breath and ability to enter into rhythm.

The parallel world

While private contracts raining fairly smoothly for the moment, the situation with the provision of government is radically different. In April, the U.S. Air Force released a closed bid for 35 missile carriers that won without tender of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) – a joint venture between Boeing and military concerns Lockheed. The contract is for $ 400 million, according to Musk that is four times the value that SpaceX has to offer, and twice more expensive than other countries carry out missile. The developer believes that the joint venture between leading aerospace giants and closed procedure eliminates any competition. Moreover, ULA is dependent on Russian rocket engines that past crisis in Ukraine and sanctions from Washington to Moscow raises the question whether it would be blocking access to this technology. Musk appealed in court and won in the first instance, which block the deal. Following an examination of the second instance, however, the magistrates found it regular and withdraw the decision. The deal is rocked by scandals. It turns out that the man from the Department of Defense (DoD), which has signed a contract with ULA – Roger Coral, shortly after he retired and accepted a high position in the company Aerojet Rocketdyne, which is a subcontractor of the ULA.

Despite the problems with the provision of military SpaceX and Musk can change the market for space flight and open it for private projects. Saturated calendar turned 2014 into a key to the success of SpaceX – if the company deal with many launches smoothly, it will be recognized as important and more importantly cheap player market space. Potential failure can, however, dashed the dreams of Musk to make commercial flights to Mars. T.TECH NEWSTechnologyCold War brought with it a boom and aerospace. Namely the arms race and technology between the two superpowers - the U.S. and the Soviet Union - led to the launch of the first human in space and landing on the foot of man on the moon. Fall of...