SpaceX opened 2018 with a successful launch and delivery using a recycled rocket and spacecraft.

Elon Musk can smile, and rightly so, this intrepid visionary investor has successfully launched a government payload into space using his SpaceX model. The payload named “Zuma” is being kept in secret, but the delivery of it is being broadcasted globally.

With space exploration being as competitive as gig economies, this capex intensive industry is finding new ways to save on expenditure and the most convenient way is to use reusable spacecraft. The only issue with this is the Earths Atmosphere that demands sturdy and heat resistant protection which demands precise machining and maintenance.

Zuma was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida, and it was deployed using the SpaceX Falcon 9 at 8pm ET.

SpaceX is a privately owned company founded and managed by Musk, who uses visionary leadership together with precise, focused engineering and quality performance to assure a near to perfect success every time. With Tesla as an example, it was obvious to understand why Musk delayed the launch until the rocket passed all “fairing testing” which tests the rocket in extreme conditions.

While there is a lot of media chatter over the secrecy of Zuma, what is more, interesting is the launch procedure and the technology used to deliver the payload. Being able to recover the rockets is key to maintaining low-cost space delivery. There is a big difference between space exploration and delivery. Space exploration is the use of craft to reach destinations in space, while space delivery is how to get the craft into space from Earth.

One of the biggest space venture races is around space delivery, and one of the keys to success is not just reusable craft but a space station. The future of space exploration will only truly begin once a viable space habitat and port are constructed. Then the transfer of construction will be delivered to the spaceport, making it a drop site from Earth and to Earth for all space-faring craft.

SpaceX is a leading space technology company that is completing the space delivery section of the equation; now the next stage will be Elon Musk’s strive to build the worlds first commercial space station that will act as an anchor for Earths first true space exploration project. It is no secret that he wants SpaceX to be the first commercially owned company to reach Mars as well as set up mining facilities in the asteroid belt. This is no longer science fiction, once the space station is set up around Earth, a second one will be set up near Mars, and then the mining of the Asteroid belt will begin.

SpaceX will take its first inter-stellar ride in 2018 when its Dragon spacecraft intends to circumvent the moon and will pave the way for the flight to Mars. The big difference between a flight to the moon and Mars is the distance. The length of the trip requires a larger craft and a support facilities for a crew on a long-term mission. However, since we already have submarines, designing a larger craft to deal with long-term airless environment missions is a design issue as much as it is a technical one.