Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is a private American space services company founded in 2002 by Elon Musk. The company has developed two launch vehicles, Falcon 1 (retired) and Falcon 9. These rockets are routinely utilized to launch private and government satellites into orbit.
SpaceX was the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover an orbital spacecraft, named Dragon. Dragon now transports cargo to and from the International Space Station under a contract with NASA.
On September 16, 2014, SpaceX won a $2.6 billion contract to develop a crewed version of the Dragon spacecraft.
Falcon 9 is a launch vehicle developed by SpaceX. It has been in active service since June 4, 2010, and has successfully flown 15 times (as of Feb. 2015).
The current version of the Falcon 9, known as v1.1, uses 9 Merlin 1D rocket engines with a total thrust of over 1.3 million lbf. Falcon 9 has the ability to transport 28,990 lbs to low-Earth orbit, and 10,690 lbs geosynchronous orbit.
In 2014, SpaceX began fitting landing legs and guidance fins to most Falcon 9 flights, with the stated goal of returning the first stage to Earth for refueling and reuse.
NewSpace is a philosophical movement often associated with the newly emerging private spaceflight industry. The term is used to categorize a number of corporations which have taken a different approach to spaceflight than that which is typical of government space programs and/or the mainstream aerospace industry as a whole.
Usually, NewSpace companies are primarily funded privately, with only marginal involvement of government funding or organizations. Additionally, most NewSpace companies pursue a low-cost approach to spaceflight by driving towards innovation within the field. Companies commonly associated with NewSpace are SpaceX, XCOR Aerospace, Bigelow Aerospace, Virgin Galactic, and more.
Philadelphia is the most populous city in Pennsylvania, and the fifth-most populous city in the United States. It was founded in 1682 by William Penn, and served initially as the capital city of the Pennsylvania Colony, under the British Empire. During the American Revolution, Philadelphia was home to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Philadelphia was an industrial hub, home to working class citizens of all races and descents. Today, the city remains the center of Pennsylvania's economic activity and has the ninth-highest GDP of all cities worldwide.
Dragon is a semi-autonomous spacecraft developed by SpaceX, and is used to transport cargo to and from the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services program. In total, it can transport a payload of up to 7,300 lbs.
In December 2010, it became the first private spacecraft to orbit the Earth and return safely. Two years later, it became the first commercial spacecraft to successfully dock with the ISS.
In September 2014, SpaceX was awarded a $2.6 billion contract by NASA to develop a crewed version, known as Dragon V2.