When people think of Aerospace and going to outer space, the first thought is normally “NASA”. NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and it was the branch of the government that conducted the Apollo missions and sent the first man on the moon to space. NASA lost its ability to launch humans from U.S. soil when the space shuttle retired. Now, companies and billionaire entrepreneurs are defining a new space age.
One of these companies is Virgin Galactic. This company is run by Richard Branson, who owns the whole Virgin Group. This is news from quite a while, yet its record seems to be unbroken; the first and only aerospace company that is going public. Social Capital Hedosophia will take a 49 percent share in the company, which will be valued at roughly $1.5 billion. The firm’s chief executive, Chamath Palihapitiya, will invest an additional $100 million in the company at $10 per share and become its chairman. The move is a major alteration for a company that has been funded largely by Branson’s personal money as it was challenged to get its commercial operations underway and start creating real revenue. When he founded the company in 2004, Branson made a promise that flights would happen within a few years, but the action has taken much longer and far more expensive than originally anticipated.
The other, as many knows, is SpaceX. SpaceX is formed by Elon Musk, who is also the founder of Tesla. This company has been very successful in sending people to space, and the future is very bright. It has created the world’s biggest and most powerful rocket that NASA has failed to do yet. It has somewhat achieved what Virgin Galactic was trying to achieve as well; its Inspiration4 spacecraft carried the first-ever non-trained civilians to go to space and return without a big problem. There were failures to this company as well; the Dragon Spacecraft that was launched in 2019 had failed to return back to earth safely and the crew was severely injured. While this was happening, NASA has been doing little to no launches to outer space.