The Key to a Successful Startup

Writing & Research: Nicole Tarsitano

Intergalactic exploration. Rocketship rides to Mars. Taking a giant leap on the moon. These are the daydreams of so many young, imaginative kids, yet only a miniscule number get to act on these ambitions. Elon Musk, however, has been working tirelessly to shift these odds with the founding of his startup, SpaceX.


    With an ever-growing fund of  $3.5 million, SpaceX has set a goal of being able to send humans to space. That’s right, the average Joe-Schmoe might one day be able to ride one of SpaceX’s spacecrafts into the great unknown outer space. Musk founded his idea in 2002, investing $100 million of his own into the company. This aviation and aerospace startup has grown dramatically in its years of work, now extending past 6,000 employees while it began with a mere 160 in 2005.


    One of SpaceX’s earliest notable achievements was the launch of Falcon 1 in 2008. Falcon 1 is the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to reach Earth orbit. And Falcon 1’s mission didn’t stop there; the following year, it went on to deliver a satellite to Earth orbit, a first for a craft of this kind.


    An achievement that gained SpaceX a significant amount of recognition occurred in 2012, when its Dragon spacecraft first delivered cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). It was the first commercial spacecraft to accomplish this. Now, in 2019, SpaceX has been working more on this ship, which continues to transport cargo to and from the ISS. This craft was designed to transport humans, and will soon be able to carry NASA astronauts. The hope is that the new generation of SpaceX launch vehicles will give people the opportunity to visit Mars along with other places in the solar system.


    With over 100 missions under its belt and many more planned, SpaceX has become one of the fastest growing launch service providers in the world. This year, on May 23, they launched 60 Starlink satellites, which support SpaceX’s internet services.


    Musk’s startup, while it started out small, has grown into a massive company that has taken a seemingly impossible task and has made it a more feasible reality. Already this company has revolutionized space exploration and may someday reach its ultimate goal of enabling life on other planets.


    SpaceX has proven its worth through its many successful missions to space, not to mention its value at approximately $12 billion. This just goes to show how a small idea can one day grow into an establishment that is recognized worldwide for its success. It is difficult to find a person that hasn’t heard the name “Elon Musk”, and because of his success and popularity he has developed more accomplished companies. Ever heard of Tesla? He founded that, too.


    It’s no secret that space exploration is chock full of obstacles to overcome as well as unchartered territory. Many of the missions SpaceX had planned (and since completed) had been to later dates to the disappointment of many. These actions had to be taken to ensure a safe working environment for the employees of SpaceX and those brave enough to go on the missions. That being said, Musk and his company have persevered through the negative reactions of the population to achieve his goal and ultimately succeed.


    With nearly 5 million followers on Instagram and over 8 million on Twitter, SpaceX is clearly recognized across social media platforms. The company posts regularly about its missions, spacecrafts, and other events that it is working to accomplish. Through this, the population is becoming more aware of the presence of SpaceX and the significant impact it has on the human race.


    Musk himself has also collected a large online following, with more than 26 million followers on Twitter. With so many people having access to his profile at their fingertips, it is no surprise how his company developed into the powerhouse it is today. People can regularly check up on his work and the next big mission he is working to accomplish.


    Growing a company can be hard. Musk has shown us that it is not impossible, and is even worth the dedication and money, to make dreams a reality. With successful social media pages for constant updates on its work and the funding it receives from big corporations like Google and NASA, it is easy to see how Musk’s startup has been able to thrive.




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