Elon Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies Corp., in 2002 in Hawthorne, California. This is a private American company. It was founded to provide American aerospace manufacturing and space transportation services. The goal of the company has been to reduce the cost of space transportation and to colonize Mars eventually. So far, Musk and his company have developed the Falcon launch vehicle family as well as the Dragon spacecraft family.
Musk has caused some problems with at least one NASA administrator leaving him bristling.
SpaceX has never launched a person into space via Crew Dragon. Instead, the SpaceX is showing off the Starship. This craft was built in Boca Chia, Texas. The plan has been to carry large crew deep into space, and this is why NASA is not happy.
This is because Crew Dragon, which is a capsule for carrying crew and cargo into space atop of a Falcon 9 rocket, is still in the works. However, it is way behind schedule. The NASA contract was awarded in 2014. SpaceX first said it would complete and deliver a functional vehicle, which the astronauts could go in, by 2017. It still hasn’t happened. A few months ago, SpaceX completed an uncrewed mission, using the Crew Dragon, heading for the International Space Station. It originally intended to send a crewed mission in 2019. However, after the Crew Dragon capsule had an explosion while being engine tested a few months ago, SpaceX and NASA postponed the first crewed mission.
More recently, Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, told the TV station CNN the Crew Dragon would be capable to go into space carrying astronauts in three or four months. However, Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator, told CNN he was not convinced. Due to a number of delays from SpaceX, he said he sees NASA purchasing more seats aboard the Russian capsules.
Revealing his unhappiness Bridenstine undermined a much-publicized Musk presentation regarding the finished Starship prototype with a rather critical tweet. He said he was looking forward to the upcoming SpaceX announcement. He added that the Commercial Crew is a number of years behind schedule. Bridenstine said he expects to see a similar level of enthusiasm aimed toward the investments of each American taxpayer. He concluded by saying it is time to deliver.
Although Bridenstine and Musk have their differences, it seems as though the situation has calmed down for the time being. Bridenstine recently sent another tweet saying the two had spoken. This suggested they had reconciled. Musk has commented that SpaceX still focuses on Crew Dragon.