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Liftoff Summary

Eric Berger

Liftoff

by Eric Berger

Liftoff

Eric Berger

Clock Icon5 min
Insight Icon3 key insights
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Liftoff is the incredible, do-or-die tale of how Elon Musk's SpaceX sent its first rocket into orbit, beginning a revolution in the space industry.

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Liftoff

by Eric Berger

Liftoff

Eric Berger

Overview

Elon Musk wants to build a city on Mars and to do that, he founded SpaceX. Living on Mars might sound ridiculously ambitious, but SpaceX's staggering progress suggests it could just be possible. Beginning with a talented but rag-tag team, the company has upended the space industry, slashing costs and pioneering reusable rockets. In 2021, NASA chose SpaceX to carry humans back to the moon, with the company's winning bid less than half the cost of the competition.

To put it mildly, the journey of SpaceX hasn't been smooth. In Liftoff, Eric Berger, a journalist, meteorologist, and senior space editor at Ars Technica, narrates the perilous journey from the company's inception in 2002 to its first launch into orbit in 2008. Using exclusive interviews with key figures including Musk, Berger recounts the multiple occasions that SpaceX almost imploded and the immense stress this wrought on those involved.

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Favorite Quote

"Can you believe that thing, or something like it, is going to take people to another planet for the first time in 4.5 billion years? I mean, probably. It may not work. But it probably will."

Elon Musk

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Liftoff

Eric Berger

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