How space X and NASA compete

There is no competition between them. Space X is a for-profit company, while NASA is a taxpayer funded entity that is free to pursue scientific discoveries that are not directly related to economic benefits.
With space X, do we still need NASA


The competition between space X and NASA is usually related to NASA's "Artemis Project". In 2004, President George W. Bush announced a plan to decommission the space shuttle and return humans to the surface of the moon. This led to the birth of a crew capsule called Orion, and eventually a rocket that evolved into a space launch system (SLS).
Orion and SLS are made by aerospace companies Lockheed Martin and Boeing, which in turn use their own private suppliers and subcontractors. Under the guidance of NASA, these devices are assembled in the center of NASA, and the final products are owned by NASA. These projects created tens of thousands of high paid jobs in the construction site, because of the strong political support of the local Congress representatives.
Both SLS and Orion are behind schedule and over budget. At the same time, space X has grown from a small start-up to a strong competitor to traditional airlines. Although space X often misses the timeline, its supporters believe that SLS and Orion are too expensive, and based on traditional technologies, these technologies have been surpassed by spacecraft such as starship.
The advocates of SLS and Orion point out that these vehicles ensure that the United States has the ability to send large payloads and humans into space. For example, although private companies can build quite large cruise ships, the US government is still building and owning aircraft carriers.
NASA's official position is that SLS and Orion are currently the best vehicles to send humans to the moon. Moreover, NASA cannot change course without the necessary political support. Space X, by contrast, is not responsible to anyone but Elon Musk. It can promote the development of starships to meet Musk's goal of sending humans to Mars.
How does space X depend on NASA?
Without NASA's investment, today's private space would be a different sight. In 2006, NASA began investing in private space companies, hoping that they could one day provide cargo and crew transportation services for the international space station. Space X was one of the first companies to get funding from NASA, which was only four years old. It is reported that NASA has paid about half of the cost for developing space X's main "Falcon 9" rocket.
In 2008, space X won a multibillion dollar contract to ship cargo to the international space station. Without NASA, space X would have been on the verge of bankruptcy and would have run out of money. Today, although space X receives revenue from a number of customers, a large part of its funding comes from transporting crew and cargo to the international space station and launching NASA science spacecraft. In addition, space X carries payloads for another taxpayer funded entity, the U.S. Department of defense.
With space X, do we still need NASA
How does NASA rely on space X?
At the end of the 2011 shuttle program, NASA was not ready for a replacement. Despite seven years of preparation time, NASA has never obtained the necessary funds to complete the construction of the international space station, develop new manned spacecraft and rocket systems, and at the same time continue to use the space shuttle (by the end of its life, the annual cost is $3.5 billion)
NASA foresaw the need for alternative solutions to deliver cargo and crew to the international space station, so it turned to the aerospace industry and put forward a new proposal: instead of paying other companies to build NASA owned aircraft in NASA owned facilities, NASA should What happens when you pay companies to make their own aircraft and then buy the flights on them?
In 2008, NASA signed a contract with space X and Orbital Sciences (now Northrop Grumman) to build their own cargo spacecraft and send them to the international space station. The plan worked: less than a year after the shuttle program ended, space X's Dragon spacecraft made its first commercial docking with the international space station. In 2020, space X will become the first private company to send NASA astronauts to the international space station.
Without space X, Northrop Grumman will be the only American company capable of delivering "cargo" to the international space station, so NASA's "crew" transportation will still rely on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft.
What is the cooperation between space X and NASA?
In 2008, NASA signed a contract with space X to build its own cargo spacecraft and send it to the international space station.
In 2012, less than a year after the end of the space shuttle project, space X's "dragon spacecraft" made its first commercial docking with the international space station, successfully delivering "supplies" to the international space station, opening a new era of private space. As of February 2019, space X has cooperated with NASA on 16 international space station replenishment missions.
With space X, do we still need NASA
In May 2020, space X launched the first manned "dragon spacecraft" at Kennedy Space Center in Florida using the "Falcon 9" carrier rocket, successfully sending NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the international space station.
This is a significant launch for NASA and space X. Since the retirement of NASA space shuttle in 2011, this is the first manned space launch mission in the United States, marking the restoration of the ability of the United States to send human beings into space. At the same time, this is the first manned space launch mission of space X company since its establishment 18 years ago. This marks the beginning of a new era of space exploration, a new era led by commercial companies.
Recently, NASA announced that in 2022, two astronauts will fly to the international space station with the space X "dragon spacecraft", which will be the fourth crew rotation flight of the "dragon spacecraft". NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines have been assigned to the mission and will serve as commander and pilot respectively.
In February this year, NASA also announced that space X has been selected to launch the "spherex" telescope. The "spherex" project is a two-year astrophysical mission that began in 2024 and plans to put the space telescope spherex into orbit. The project will cost NASA about $98.8 million.
The data collected by spherex will help astronomers understand the evolution of the universe and the formation of galaxies, NASA said.