It is hard to overestimate the significance of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy test launch that occurred on February 6, 2018 and how it will affect the student career options and the industries our students will work in the future. Here’s how Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, explains it:
“If one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets just like airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred. A fully reusable vehicle has never been done before. That really is the fundamental breakthrough needed to revolutionize access to space.” The majority of the launch cost comes from building the rocket, which flies only once. Compare that to a commercial airliner – each new plane costs about the same as Falcon 9, but can fly multiple times per day, and conduct tens of thousands of flights over its lifetime. Following the commercial model, a rapidly reusable space launch vehicle could reduce the cost of traveling to space by a hundredfold.”
Falcon Heavy: The Most Powerful Rocket Yet
That’s exactly what the latest test launch accomplished. If you haven’t already seen video of the Falcon Heavy boosters landing almost simultaneously, in what seemed like beautiful computer automated choreography, it’s worth taking a moment to check it out. How can we put this accomplishment into perspective? Photos of the event are equally awe-inspiring and yet they still don’t help to convey the historical significance of the event. In an article for Big Think Paul Ratner helps explains why this is such a milestone moment in history and why student careers might be related to a mars mission.
“SpaceX has given the world a first look at its most powerful rocket yet – the Falcon Heavy. Not only is this beast the most powerful rocket that the Elon Musk-led SpaceX ever made, it will be “the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two,” according to their site. When it launches with its initial cargo, its destination will be the orbit of Mars, according to Musk. Eventually, the rocket might be the one to carry humans to the Red Planet as well.”
Musk and his team of scientists, engineers, and dreamers over at SpaceX have already imagined what a colony on Mars might look like:
Those are future iterations of Falcon Heavy spacecraft you’re looking at. Just how far into the future might this dream become a reality? Let’s just say that today’s K-12 students careers could be one of the Falcon Heavy flight engineers, pilots, and Mars colonizers. Unfortunately, too many of today’s schools are failing to prepare our students for a future in aerospace technology, engineering, and computer science.
The Falcon Heavy rockets will also be used to revolutionize Earth to Earth transportation. This launch has effectively signaled a future wave of student career options in aerospace science and other related fields. To support such endeavors, computational thinking, team-problem solving, effective communication and creativity will all be essential skills.
StratoStar STEM Programs are on the forefront of preparing today’s students to be leaders in the fields of aerospace science, technology, engineering and mathematics. StratoStar students launch experimental payloads on high-altitude weather balloons to the edge of space, reaching heights of 100,000 feet or more, taking their learning outside of the classroom and into the field. With StratoStar scientific balloons, the sky’s truly the limit when it comes to unlocking scientific curiosity and impacting student learning.
To learn more about how StratoStar is helping develop students career opportunities and prepare for future workforce needs like the new Space Economy SpaceX has started, visit our website at www.stratostar.com.