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Possibly the best examples of what it means to dream big and reach for the stars are Elon Musk and his firm SpaceX. With the intention of designing, producing, and launching cutting-edge rockets and spacecraft, Musk established SpaceX in 2002. (The Company, 2017). This essay's goal is to examine the problematic nature of SpaceX's different Mars Space Expeditions and make suggestions for how to address the issues.
This communication's main argument is whether it is necessary for Elon Musk and SpaceX to commit significant financial resources to paying for Mars space expeditions. Essentially, what is the benefit of the expeditions, if any, and do they outweigh the cost of undertaking such high-risk ventures. It is the finding of this research that the expeditions by SpaceX are not inspired by the desire to make milestones in space but are a result of the need of Elon Musk to make technology investments that highlight his achievements and build his legacy (Fernholz, 2017). For example, Musk's deep space adventures have led to the blowup of several rocket ships that Musk sensationally claimed were a result of alien activity (Sherman, 2017). Moreover, one wonders whether the US government should continue to subsidize various undertakings of SpaceX at the expense of taxpayers, with a minimal marketable result to show for it. In essence, the various deep space ventures of SpaceX are unnecessary because they have reached a point of siphoning money from NASA and the US Military to fund privately manned explorations. For example, the US Congress and Treasury have often cut the budget of government spacecraft programs and opted to support private companies like SpaceX. The lure is due to the low prices of flights in outer space offered by SpaceX, which is 20 % of the cost of NASA and competitors (Pappalardo, 2014). While one may see such a scenario as viable, it weakens NASA and promotes the self-interests of politicians and Elon Musk.
The other critical question concerning SpaceX's exploration of deep space is on the level of objectivity on the part of Elon Musk and his organization when undertaking government-sponsored projects. The company presents hostile competition to NASA, who have rightly staked claim to deep space. Charles Bolden, former NASA Chief, was emphatically against private enterprises exploring extraterrestrial spaces without undertaking the required studies of such territories (Sherman, 2017). Further, SpaceX is only a designer of machinery that facilitate exploration of deep space, but the company goes beyond its mandate, and on 2017 Elon Musk vowed to go against the wishes of NASA in a bid to feed his ego. Therefore, it is clear that Musk's deep space dreams are not objective to the greater good of the country and are subject to the vision of his company.
One way to ensure that SpaceX is accountable for resources devoted to interplanetary explorations is for government to minimize or curtail funding of any projects and instead compel SpaceX to fund the ventures. The US government, through NASA, must take strides in setting the ground rules for any engagement between private companies and government agencies in matters space explorations. For example, SpaceX is, as it should be, the full financier of the 2018 Space Project where they hope to land a "Red Dragon" capsule on Mars. NASA shall only provide technical support for the project. In such a scenario, SpaceX is more accountable and must deliver in a bid to ensure they do not lose their money.
The second recommendation that is knit tightly to funding concerns the necessity of SpaceX's deep space explorations and prioritization of the seemingly unrealistic ventures. Bill Chappell (2016) gives the opinion that deep space ventures are necessary to demonstrate the technologies, requirements, and challenges that come with landing astronauts on Mars. However, such ventures must be properly executed to make sure that the involved entities are objective to a higher course such as NASA's desire to explore Mars by 2030 (Boozer, 2014). For example, the government has the legislative power to put in place policies that require any private entity to provide grounds reasonable enough to undertake any deep space ventures. A well-regulated aeronautical industry ensures that SpaceX conducts thorough research and proper preparations to prevent issues such as rocket explosions and mission failure. Any venture must be relevant to the current issues as opposed to far-fetched dreams that are subject to trial. Also, Congress must allow a level playing field for all private companies involved in the design of spacecraft in a bid to make sure that SpaceX does not monopolize the industry and make it the backdrop of soliciting funds from the public. Companies such as ULA, Orbital Sciences, and Bigelow Aerospace should be included to offer competition and thus raise quality.
The concern about the commitment of Elon Musk and SpaceX to the greater good of the United States, as opposed to personal ambitions, is solved by well-stipulated partnerships, boundaries, and levels of engagement. There are numerous challenges to any deep space explorations that require concerted efforts to address, for example, gravity drag, slow ships, lack of GPS in space, etc. (Leckie, 2017). It is the submission of this essay that each stakeholder, like SpaceX, should be liable to addressing several issues according to their specialization, in this case, designing proper spacecraft for SpaceX. The organization must work together with all the other agencies like NASA and deep space forecasters to make sure that objectivity of the project is kept supreme. Also, the government must put in place accountability measure for every dollar requested by SpaceX. However, there should be severe repercussions to Elon Musk's blatant contempt of NASA's warnings that no private companies should carry out sensitive space explorations.
The analysis of the arguments put forth three weighty concerns: the necessity and prioritization of SpaceX's ventures, the mode of funding, and the level of objectivity of Elon Musk in his deep space dreams. The division of the problem into three parts makes it easier to raise compelling arguments about each area of concern and create relations to the entire problem. This essay adopted the Root Cause Analysis model where a problem is a factor in several causes that must be addressed distinctly (Rudy, 2014). The causes make it easier for the analyst to spot recommendations, which address each particular area and conjoin findings to form the solution for the problem at hand. One may also use the strategy of problem-solving and decision-making that works well with management (McNamara, 2017). The different levels of defining, identifying causes and alternatives can also work to analyze arguments and make decisions (McNamara, 2017). However, the concepts of problem-solving and decision-making cannot be fully productive in the analysis of SpaceX since the research is required to give recommendations.
SpaceX has undoubtedly adopted a style of leadership that revolves around the founder, Elon Musk, who acts as a salesman who best markets the vision and mission of SpaceX that is inseparable from his dreams and goals. Essentially, one can attribute the success of SpaceX to the ample marketing capabilities of Elon Musk. The internal organization of SpaceX is deliberately kept away from the public domain to create an air of mystery, where the leadership creates demand through scarcity, and only shows results. Having mastered marketing and proper branding, SpaceX can make efforts to work better with NASA, who are solely responsible for aeronautical projects and avoid ventures that do not add any value to the industry or the country. SpaceX has a careful image management style where the public only sees what the CEO allows to be in the public domain, and their business model can be seen to be a travesty.
Boozer, R. (2014). The Plundering of NASA: an Exposé (1st Ed.). Lulu.com.
Chappell, B. (2016). Mars by 2018? SpaceX and NASA Announce a New Space Project.National Public Radio. Retrieved 14 Sepetember 2017, Retrieved from: www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/28/476015372/mars-by-2018-spacex-and nasa-announce-a-new-space-project
Elon Musk’s business model is a travesty. (2017). American Spectator. Retrieved 14September 2017, Retrieved from: spectator.org/buy-american-may-not-be-american
Fernholz, T. (2017). A century before Bezos and Musk, rich men were already funding spaceexploration. Quartz. Retrieved 14 September 2017, Retrieved from: qz.com/1040156/elon-musks spacex-and-jeff-bezoss-blue-origin-arent-the-first-space-ventures-funded-by-billionaires
Leckie, A. (2017). The 12 Greatest Challenges for Space Exploration. Wired Staff. Retrieved 14September 2017, Retrieved from www.wired.com/2016/02/space-is-cold-vast-and-deadlyhumans-will-explore-it-anyway
McNamara, C. (2017). Problem Solving and Decision Making (Solving Problems and MakingDecisions). Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Free Management Library. Retrieved 14 September 2017, Retrieved from: managementhelp.org/personalproductivity/problem-solving.htm
Pappalardo, J. (2014). We can Send Humans back to Space if we fund Elon Musk Instead of Nasa. The Gurdian. Retrieved 14 Spetember 2017, Retrieved from www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/26/space-nasa-into-elon-musk-vc-fund private-space-industry
Rudy, L. J. (2014). Solve Management Problems with Root Cause Analysis. Get to Root Cause of Management Problems. Retrieved 14 September 2017, from:[business.tutsplus.com/articles/solve-management-problems-with-root-cause-analysis cms-21085]
Sherman, S. (2017). Elon Musk Begs for More Taxpayer Money to Fund His Deep SpaceDreams. Townhall. Retrieved 14 Spetember 2017, from:[townhall.com/columnists/stevesherman/2017/07/19/elon-musk-begs-for-more-taxpayer money-to-fund-his-deep-space-dreams-n2357025]
The Company. (2017). SpaceX. Retrieved 14 September 2017, from: [www.spacex.com/about]
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