While Richard Branson just announced that Virgin Galactic’s space plane is hoping to return to the skies soon and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin is building award-winning rockets, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has already flown 10 rockets this year, launching three rockets in just 12 days, including two in just 48 hours. When it comes to the modern-day space race, Quartz makes a compelling argument that SpaceX is currently in the lead.
SpaceX launched its first Falcon 9 rocket seven years ago and since then has rocketed (pun intended) to the front of the commercial space market and, according to Quartz, is on track to launch more rockets than the entire United States did in 2016. While the company had some notable setbacks, including a launchpad explosion that cost the company hundreds of millions, they are making huge strides in rocket reusability, clocking in serious flight time, and working toward their goal of shuttling astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX could indeed be in the lead in the commercial race to the stars, but Virgin Galactic or Blue Origin could come from behind to win, especially if they come up with a really sweet plan to save the earth from asteroids. ML