Space Exploration Technologies
- To reduce the cost of spaceflight by orders of magnitude through rocket re-usability, enabling the mass exploitation of space.
- To colonise Mars by founding a city there.
They're changing our future. I could type at extreme length about this company - they're doing the most exciting things in the world right now, if you ask me - but rather than wax lyrical, I've come to suspect that a much cleaner way to explain their importance is to take the opposition stance and deflate it with facts, let SpaceX's performance and culture speak for itself.
To that end, here's a list that Space Engineer pasted to DoctorOfSpace, which he then translated to English. It comes from a Russian forum where SpaceX fans were mocking people who continually express doubt about the company, no matter what they do. I've edited it slightly for neatness, flow, and accuracy to the SpaceX timeline.
1. When there are SpaceX customers, then we'll talk.
2. When the Falcon 1 flies, then we'll talk.
- Falcon 1 Flight 1 [FAILURE] - 24/03/2006
- Falcon 1 Flight 2 [FAILURE] - 21/03/2007
- Falcon 1 Flight 3 [FAILURE] - 03/08/2008
3. When the Falcon 1 reaches orbit, then we'll talk.
4. When there is a contract with NASA, then we'll talk.
- SpaceX and Orbital win huge CRS contract from NASA - NASAspaceflight.com, 23/12/2008
5. When the Falcon 9 flies, then we'll talk.
- Falcon 9 Flight 1 - 04/06/2010
6. When they build their own ship, Dragon, then we'll talk.
- SpaceX Dragon capsule set for launch - BBC News, 08/12/2010
7. When they reach the ISS, then we'll talk.
- ISS catches a Dragon by the tail - Motherboard.com, 25/05/2012
8. When they launch geostationary satellites, then we'll talk.
- SpaceX launch SES-8 to Geostationary Transfer Orbit - 03/12/2013
9. When they figure out how to land rockets, then we'll talk.
- A video covering the development of their landing technique <- Stop that at 3:20 to avoid spoilers for point 11!
10. When they make their Dragon 2, then we'll talk.
- Dragon Version 2 mission concept animation:
(Full Dragon V2 unveiling event with Elon Musk) - 03/05/2014
- Crew Dragon | Interior - 10/09/2015
- Dragon 2 pad-abort test LOUD! (On-board view)
11. When they land the first stage of a rocket, then we'll talk.
- "The Falcon has landed" | Recap of Falcon 9 launch and landing
^ I will never get tired of that video - 21/12/2015
- SpaceX Makes History (from National Geographic's MARS series)
12. When they land the first stage of their rocket on the barge, then we'll talk.
13. When they land a stage after the launching to GTO (geostationary transfer orbit), then we'll talk.
14. When they successfully launch a reused rocket, then we'll talk.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>WE ARE HERE<<<<<<<<<<<<<
15. When they launch their Falcon Heavy, then we'll talk.
- Official SpaceX Falcon Heavy Animation
- SpaceX Tease a photo of a Falcon Heavy interstage component - 28/12/2016
- Falcon Heavy side-booster with nose-cone spotted leaving SpaceX's Hawthorne HQ, trucking through Arizona, and entering SpaceX's MacGregor test-fire facility in Texas - 07->09/02/2017
16. When they start to carry people to orbit, then we'll talk.
- SpaceX Crew-Dragon pressure vessel put to the test
- Astronaut Bob Behnken emerges from an under-construction crew Dragon
- "Crew Dragon | In orbit" visualisation 10/09/2015
17. When they send a ship to the Moon, then we'll talk.
18. When they can land a ship successfully without parachutes, then we'll talk.
- Dragon 2 propulsive hover tests - 21/01/2016
19. When the Red Dragon is launched, then we'll talk.
20. When the Red Dragon sits on Mars, then we'll talk.
21. When they make their Martian transport, then we'll talk.
- SpaceX tests the revolutionary high-efficiency methane rocket engine for its Mars ships: The Raptor engine WARNING: LOOOOOUUUUDDDD - 25/09/2016
- SpaceX successfully pressure-tests gigantic fuel tank for Mars ship - 11/11/2016
- SpaceX ITS fuel tank spotted in transit to further testing
- Remains of giant tank spotted on dock after SpaceX tests it to destruction
- SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System
23. When Mars is colonized, then we'll talk.
24. When they terraform Mars, then we'll talk.
- Elon Musk on terraforming Mars
- The image you see when you walk into SpaceX HQ:
Phew! That took a long time to put together.
I don't know if it's more informative than my usual approach of spewing forth a stream of consciousness about the company, but it's certainly more complete. I turned up so much nostalgic stuff about SpaceX from way back in the founding days, some of which I had never seen before. It's amazing to see how many of their objectives they have met, and how much resistance and doubt they have pushed through to reach this stage. The list above is a tongue-in-cheek distillation of the doubts expressed at every stage of their journey, and the bullet points are a refutation of those doubts.
SpaceX are the most important thing happening on this planet right now. I wish them every continued success.
Edited to tidy up some formatting errors