While the USA launches missiles, in Russia drinks vodka and has a snack on sausage
In April, 2018 SpaceX will start the latest version (Block 5) of the carrier rocket Falcon 9 then will concentrate (especially actively — after completion of works on Dragon 2) on development of reusable steps of a superheavy missile and the BFR spaceship (Big Falcon Rocket). The plans of the American company are gradual replacement of all the operating rockets (heavy Falcon 9 and superheavy Falcon Heavy) and spaceships (cargo Dragon and the created piloted Dragon 2) on universal BFR. Lenta.ru remembers how Falcon family rockets appeared and developed.
From Russia with love
The history SpaceX began, to put it mildly, unexpectedly. Elon Musk who was taking part in creation of such companies as Zip2 and X.com (afterwards I integrated with Confinity where PayPal entered), in October, 2001 visited Russia. The American businessman met representatives of the state company "Kosmotras" which is responsible for conversion of the Soviet military intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the "Lavochkin's Association" making accelerating blocks and spacecrafts. Musk's plans were sending mice to Mars, for this purpose the inexpensive rocket was required for it. The American, European and Japanese carriers were too expensive therefore behind a rocket the businessman went to Russia.
Moscow met the businessman by a table with sausage and vodka, but didn't apprehend seriously. Mask left home, but in February, 2002 returned back, this time on a trip of the businessman future head of NASA Michael Griffin accompanied. Three intercontinental rockets were required for the American. Kosmotras agreed to sell a rocket Mask at eight million dollars apiece whereas the businessman wanted to buy for the same sum two carriers at once. The parties drank for space, however didn't reach agreement. On the way home the American decided to create the rocket.
So in May, 2002 for the purpose of ensuring inexpensive access to space and sendings the person to Mars SpaceX was created. In the company the interested graduates of space departments of the American universities and also employees of Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Orbital ATK were involved (in the modern name). Then came to SpaceX the designer Thomas Mueller who is responsible in the company for development of Merlin engines for Falcon family rockets (and afterwards and Raptor for BFR), and the engineer Gwynne Shotvell who is engaged in business development. Mask which got an education in the field of applied physics, being the CEO, actually I carried out also duties of the chief designer.
The assembly shop and design offices were located in one room in the suburb of Los Angeles, in the company were going to make the maximum number of elements of a rocket by own efforts. The initial plans were creation of three rockets — Falcon 1, Falcon 5 and Falcon 9. The family received the name in honor of the Millennium Falcon ship from "Star wars", the index designated number of engines of the first step. As showed time, Falcon 1 consigned to the past, Falcon 5 didn't appear at all, and except Falcon 9 SpaceX have Falcon Heavy and, perhaps, BFR will appear. The initial capital the Mask made about hundred million dollars, today capitalization of SpaceX is estimated at 25 billion dollars.