The Falcon and the Dragon

Tuesday’s launch of the SpaceX Dragon Space Capsule and Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle achieved for Space Exploration Technologies an important place in the future of human space flight and commercial space endeavours.  No one else can ever be first to orbit and recover a commercially designed and built capsule.

Back in college (longer ago than I care to share) I looked forward to this.  SpaceX just launched the next step in a new renaissance for our planet and the beginning of the end (hopefully) of congressional involvement in spacecraft design and of space-based projects having to be subject to Presidential fiat.  When that capsule splashed down, free enterprise in space got its feet wet.

Will this silence the critics of commercial space?  Space.com has a poll going that asks this question.

I say no.  One successful test launch does not a space program make, but also most of the critics seem to be members, directly or indirectly, of “Old Space” (the industry surrounding the more traditional NASA launch activities).  These people are very unlikely to stop criticizing what is about to become their competition for money, power, and prestige.  So we can all expect even more pooh-poohing and tongue exposure from some of them.

The next commercial lauch, whether by SpaceX or by someone else, will raise the bar even further.

Good job SpaceX.

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~ by Bill Housley on December 9, 2010.

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