The explosion of the SpaceX rocket is a setback, but those things happen, and that’s why they have tests.

The race for Mars is heating up with the recent successes of Elon Musk’s Space X First Stage recovery, and therefore huge cost reductions. SpaceX recently recovered a first stage from deep space shot!

Space X will announce their plans in October, but we know that Space X will try an unmanned settling of a huge Dragon spaceship on the Mars surface in 2018..

To do that they must start testing the massive Falcon Heavy engine, and they have shipped it to Texas for test firing., named the Raptor Rocket. In effect the Falcon Heavy will be the largest rocket the US ever produced, with the rocket consisting of 27 Merlin engine cores. Think of the Space Shuttle rocket time two!

That Raptor rocket could be ready to send a Dragon unmanned spaceship to Mars in 2018. (Emphasis on “could”). The Dragon spaceship has been certified to send Astronauts to the Space Station, but today’s failure may delay that depending on the cause. In the not too distant future, but this first time the Dragon spaceship to Mars will be filled with scientific experiments so it may not be delayed by the failure today.

We are entering an age of private space exploration with Paul White of Apple fame scheduling a Space Ship for private individuals low earth orbit to compete with Richard Branson and his Virgin Atlantic team.

The SpaceX rocket destruction is bad. Really bad, but space is hard and there will always be failures. 

SpaceX had opened quite a lead on its competitors, but that lead has considerably narrowed

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