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10 Fascinating Facts About SpaceX

All systems go.

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is all about rocket science. Founded by Paypal and Tesla's Elon Musk in 2002, they've been disrupting the global launch industry for years and are quietly one one of the coolest companies in the world. Here are ten things you (probably) didn't know about them.


They're the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.


The Falcon 9 is named after the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. The "9" denotes the number of rocket engines a rocket has.


Dragon, SpaceX's capsule spacecraft, carried a wheel of cheese on its first test flight as an homage to Monty Python's Flying Circus.


The barge SpaceX is attempting to land their rocket on is named "Just Read The Instructions" in honor of a ship from Iain M. Banks' book series.


SpaceX is attempting to build 4,000 broadband satellites for the purpose of enabling global internet access.


They almost ran out of money. SpaceX's first rocket, the Falcon 1, failed to reach orbit three out of five attempted launches. They succeeded on their fourth launch, but came very close to running out of cash.


Elon Musk taught himself rocket science. No big deal.


Once the rocket is launched, it is completely automated. Even the landings!


Elon Musk doesn't plan to make SpaceX a public company until the Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT), the rocket that will ferry people to Mars, is regularly flying.


SpaceX's ultimate goal is to ferry people on the MCT to a Mars colony for as little as $500,000 per person. Crazy...but possible.