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This was the first time in history such a feat had been achieved by an orbital rocket and is a significant step towards rocket reusability lowering the costs of access to space.and by the end of 2017, Space X had landed and recovered the first stage on 16 missions in a row where a landing and recovery were attempted, including all 14 attempts in 2017.Each Merlin 1D engine can vertically lift the weight of 40 average family cars.In combination, the 9 Merlin engines in the Falcon 9 first stage produce anywhere from 5.8 to 6.7 MN (1.3 to 1.5 million pounds) of thrust, depending on altitude.In May 2002, Musk founded Space X, an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, of which he is CEO and lead designer.He joined Tesla, Inc., an electric vehicle and solar panel manufacturer, in 2004, the year after it was founded, and became its CEO and product architect.20 out of 42 first stage Falcon 9 boosters have been recovered overall since the Falcon 9 maiden flight in 2010.Space X has produced more than 100 operational Merlin 1D engines.
As he states, "I remember thinking and seeing that America is where great things are possible, more than any other country in the world." At the age of 17, in 1989, Musk moved to Canada to attend Queen's University, avoiding mandatory service in the South African military.
The company's first two launch vehicles are the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets (a nod to Star Wars' Millennium Falcon), and its first spacecraft is the Dragon (a nod to Puff the Magic Dragon).
In seven years, Space X designed the family of Falcon launch vehicles and the Dragon multipurpose spacecraft.
Musk calculated that the raw materials for building a rocket actually were only 3 percent of the sales price of a rocket at the time.
It was concluded that theoretically, by applying vertical integration and the modular approach from software engineering, Space X could cut launch price by a factor of ten and still enjoy a 70-percent gross margin.