The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Local astronomer gives input on a recent SpaceX expedition

SpaceX Dragon 16 Photo By: Astro Alex

Kate Couch/ The Broadside

Most people are aware of the company Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk, but not everyone is familiar with Elon Musk’s other company SpaceX.

SpaceX is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company. In 2002 Elon Musk founded the company with the goal of, “reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars,” Musk said.

SpaceX is a revolutionary and inventive company. This Sunday SpaceX launched the Dragon, which took astronauts to and dropped them off for SpaceX’s first six-month expedition. The Dragon is the only spacecraft currently flying that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth and is the first private spacecraft to take human passengers to the space station, according to the SpaceX website.

Robert Grossfeld Professor of astronomy at COCC, said he is excited to see what SpaceX brings to the table as he believes it will pique the interest of young people in space exploration.

“It opens up a very diverse opportunity for jobs, not only in the engineering and technical fields but a wide range of other potential jobs for the future generations,” Grossfeld said.

SpaceX has made many strives for astronomy and science in general.

“SpaceX ambitions and goals opens another avenue for those interested in science and other public relations careers,” Grossfeld said.

As long as the interest stays, their people will discover new things and new innovations and progress will be made.

Grossfeld also notes, “As far as science goes, I believe the more interest and activity there is in space exploration, the more humankind will benefit from the new discoveries. Think of all the cool technology that has come to our everyday life from technology developed by NASA and the government. Now add the private sector into the equation. I look forward to seeing the cool new toys in the future.”

It’s interesting for the world to see a private space company be so well-respected and make progress, with many benefits of the government not fiscally supporting SpaceX as Grossfeld noted.

SpaceX has made great strides to open up the private field of space travel.

“I do think the private sector will drive down cost and create more interest. I also believe that SpaceX will open the doors for other companies to enter the field. This was foreseen by many when they opened their doors in 2002. As more and more other options become available, I think you see a rise in the popularity of space exploration,” Grossfeld said.

Space travel does come with risks as Grossfeld states, “I do believe that human space travel has its share of risks. SpaceX has done a great job so far, but the amount of risk of failure is still there. How they handle a loss of human life will be a very interesting story, and I very much hope they never have to deal with that aspect of their operation. I am sure they are very much aware of the risks involved.”

It will be interesting to see how SpaceX unfolds and handles new problems. To keep up to date with all SpaceX expeditions and new discoveries, check out their website here.


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