They Did It!

Long ago, we all wondered what would become of NASA’s human spaceflight program. The Space Shuttle sucked so much money out of the system that no other spaceflight effort could be developed by any NASA partner. Then, upon its cancellation, its replacement languished until it was cancelled also.

After the Commercial Crew contracts were awarded to spaceflight veteran company Boeing and upstart SpaceX, they’re projected launch dates hopscotched back and forth for a while as to who would be first to the ISS…like the respective heights of my eighteen month younger sister and I as we grew.

Boeing dropped the ball, in my opinion, by a lack of willingness to innovate enough…giving SpaceX a nose in the game. This culminated in a less than successful test flight that put them way behind. Both programs were starved by Congress, delaying Commercial Crew and creating a crew scheduling crisis and endangering the IIS program itself as the United States and Russia drifted apart politically with Russia having way too much control over the operations and future of the station.

Launching through a break in a storm system over Florida today, NASA successfully returned human space launch operations to their activities…and did it with a new paradigm that hands off that capability to industry so that human spaceflight will no longer need Congress or Russia to grow on its own initiative.

Tomorrow morning they will dock the Dragon to the station for several weeks and change the direction of human spaceflight forever.

Thank you NASA and SpaceX and safe travels Bob and Doug.

~ by Bill Housley on May 30, 2020.

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