Geek Goodness: Dragon docks with ISS

posted at 2:01 pm on May 26, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

A bit of high tech goodness for all of you brainiac geek types out there. After many delays in getting off the ground, Dragon – the first commercial space venture of a non-experimental nature – docked with the International Space Station on Friday. (Video follows)

A new first was achieved today (May 26) when astronauts on the International Space Station opened the door to their newest spacecraft visitor, the private capsule Dragon.

Dragon, built by commercial company SpaceX, arrived at the space station on Friday (May 25) and was attached to the outpost’s Harmony node at 12:02 p.m. EDT (1602 GMT). It is the first private vehicle ever to visit the $100 billion space station, which is a partnership between five international space agencies.

What did NASA astronaut Don Pettit think of the new arrival?

“Kind of reminds me of the cargo capability that I can put in the back of my pickup truck and the smell inside smells like a brand new car,” Pettit said after entering the Dragon.

There’s been plenty of debate over where we go next after NASA shelved the shuttle program. More unmanned cargo missions with as much reusable technology as possible were the obvious, early answers. But you also need human beings for some jobs, no matter how wonderful our robots seem. Is commercial, private spacefaring the answer? It has a nice, free market ring to it at first blush, but should governments relinquish their claim to low orbit real estate? Conversely, under what auspices would any government claim ownership of space? It’s a complicated issue.

Anyway, here’s the video. Dragon was a good name for the capsule, because this is pretty darned cool.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Hurray for capitalists…

Electrongod on May 26, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Dang you don’t mean some people actually spent THEIR own, not taxpayers money, to do this?

This is wonderful news. It seems the US is still doing OK with investments without bho!

How long till bho takes credit?
L

letget on May 26, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Free market at its finest.

rbj on May 26, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Whoh–how cool is that!!!

dragondrop on May 26, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Even better, doesn’t SpaceX have a competitor who also wants to get in on the unmanned orbital cargo capsule business?

And Richard Branson’s venture should be up and running soon.

JimLennon on May 26, 2012 at 2:12 PM

I only hope it’s not too little, too late…the west is perilously close to discarding all the progress it’s made in the space race.

MelonCollie on May 26, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Geek Goodness??? More like American know-how!

Rugged individualism is what made America great and it will be what saves our great country from ALL of the LOUSY liberal leaning politicians we are stuck with from both partys.

DannoJyd on May 26, 2012 at 2:15 PM

But you also need human beings for some jobs, no matter how wonderful our robots seem. Is commercial, private spacefaring the answer?

It’s not mentioned above, but SpaceX is also working on a manned version of Dragon, called Dragon Rider that will be able to carry up to 7 people to LEO. The expect to be able to fly it within 3 years or so.

Also, given that Dragon was designed with a very robust heatshield, missions beyond earth orbit may be possible.

DarkCurrent on May 26, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I don’t care if it delivered a bottle of water and the morning newspaper, it’s a huge success! And very cool.

The logistics of pulling this off are mind boggling. Not to mention the amount of money it must have taken.

Congrats to SpaceX and their entire team. BTW, NASA had a lot to do with this as well.

Nelsa on May 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Even better, doesn’t SpaceX have a competitor who also wants to get in on the unmanned orbital cargo capsule business?

JimLennon on May 26, 2012 at 2:12 PM

You may be thinking of Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus, which also has a COTS contract to deliver cargo to ISS.

Other companies such as Boeing and SpaceDev are also developing manned spacecraft.

DarkCurrent on May 26, 2012 at 2:20 PM

America: Still Winning!

BKennedy on May 26, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Actually, this is one small area where BHO deserves a quantum of backhanded credit

Huzzah for SpaceX, and onward to the Big Black!

Noocyte on May 26, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Wow the space station only cost $100 billion? Kinda puts in perspective what a waste the stimulus package was.

stout77 on May 26, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Even better, doesn’t SpaceX have a competitor who also wants to get in on the unmanned orbital cargo capsule business?

And Richard Branson’s venture should be up and running soon.

JimLennon on May 26, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Yes Orbital Sciences Corp. I worked with them back around 1990. They have been in the launch business for a long time. Back then they were doing targets for Star Wars tracking satellite technology.

They also worked the Pegasus, an air launched satellite launcher. IIRC they used or were going to use it for Iridium sats.

They should be a worthy competitor.

orbitalair on May 26, 2012 at 2:25 PM

that’s awesome!!, spacex is also working on the holy grail of spaceships, re-usability, thats where most of the expense come, they have to build a new rocket every time they fly up, it’s like taking a 747 somewhere and then throwing it away, once they perfect that technology the cost of spaceflight wil go down extensively

golembythehudson on May 26, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Geek my rear end!

That sir is libertarian capitalism. Even though the contract was woth the government…

…the west is perilously close to discarding all the progress it’s made in the space race.

MelonCollie on May 26, 2012 at 2:14 PM

To put it kindly towards you…nope.

Or, you could just name one area where the west has been eclipsed.

cozmo on May 26, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Dang you don’t mean some people actually spent THEIR own, not taxpayers money, to do this?

letget on May 26, 2012 at 2:07 PM

It’s still taxpayer’s money because it is a government customer. But they have broken the NASA monopoly of building and operating spacecraft.

The real private enterprise breakthrough is the new asteroid mining venture called Planetary Resources. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018061990_asteroid25m.html

So claims that the US is giving up on space are not correct. To bad this could not have happened long ago, but all the talk of class warfare causes entrepreneurs to stay away from high risk/high reward activities, and punitive top tax rates steals the oxygen needed for them to do that.

pedestrian on May 26, 2012 at 2:33 PM

A bit of high tech goodness for all of you brainiac geek types out there. After many delays in getting off the ground, Dragon – the first commercial space venture of a non-experimental nature – docked with the International Space Station on Friday.

The docking arm on the Station and how the incoming craft interacts with it is very, very cool.

Lourdes on May 26, 2012 at 2:35 PM

A hearty Heinlein salute!

Abelard on May 26, 2012 at 2:35 PM

…how long before there’s an executive order declaring that someone from the middle-east has to be involved…or they don’t get to take-off again?

KOOLAID2 on May 26, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Free market at its finest.

rbj on May 26, 2012 at 2:08 PM

It’s not quite so simple. SpaceX basically received a subsidy from the government that financed the final design, manufacturing, and testing of its rocket technology. No private investors were willing to take that risk.

But I agree that this is a huge win for the US, California, and either Texas or Florida. What’s most amazing about SpaceX is that the Chinese have publicly admitted that its impossible for them to compete with SpaceX on price. SpaceX is a shining example of how American ingenuity and technical brilliance can win over cheap labor. The company is poised to dominate the global commercial spaceflight industry for decades to come.

bayam on May 26, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Neato.

Too bad that after a full fifty years we’ve still got to be dead and reduced to powdery ashes — or a multi-multi-multimillionaire — to hitch a ride just for the lulz.

FlatFoot on May 26, 2012 at 2:50 PM

all the talk of class warfare causes entrepreneurs to stay away from high risk/high reward activities, and punitive top tax rates steals the oxygen needed for them to do that.

Elon Musk leans left and has repeatedly expressed his support for Obama. The same applied to Steve Jobs and other great entrepreneurs including Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Larry Page.

Once again, Hotair readers have been brainwashed by right wing talking points. The great entrepreneurs want to see Clinton era tax rates restored and are generally not driven by concern over paying a slightly higher tax rate. Ultimately, their wealth is driven by a healthy middle class and solvent fiscal policies, not tax rates.

bayam on May 26, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Thank you president Obama, no thanks to GOP.

NASA goes entrepreneurial. Yesterday, President Obama urged private companies to take over the job of transporting humans into space, a move that was heralded by the burgeoning private space industry. In an announcement, reported by the New York Times, the President “argued that turning to private entrepreneurs would result in more space flights and more astronauts in orbit than the space plan he inherited.” The policy shift had been hotly contested, especially in states like Florida, where government-run NASA programs employ thousands of people. But entrepreneurs, like SpaceX founder Elon Musk, were positively giddy. In a statement, Musk, whose company is developing low-cost rockets, mocked opponents of the Obama plan saying that they had achieved “a new altitude record in hypocrisy, claiming that the public option was bad in healthcare, but good in space!” He praised the announcement as “an ambitious and exciting new plan that will alter our destiny as a species.”

http://www.inc.com/staff-blog/obama-takes-space-travel-private.html
http://www.businessinsider.com/startups-in-space-2009-8

lester on May 26, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Is commercial, private spacefaring the answer? It has a nice, free market ring to it at first blush, but should governments relinquish their claim to low orbit real estate?

Yes and no.

Private spacefaring and travel will be the future, but Government will obviously play a role because space is going to be the national defense issue of the 21st century. The U.S. private spacefaring industry won’t be any use if Chinese killer satellites start zapping commercial spacecraft. Therefore not only is the future of Private spacefaring bright, but so is will be the militarization of space.

There is just no way to avoid it…

William Eaton on May 26, 2012 at 2:57 PM

It’s only a commercial success if it makes money? Did it make money? And if it did make money, who paid? The taxpayer?

Private enterprise in space is only viable if two conditions exist:

1) a private company makes a profit from going to space and

2) they make their money from the private sector.

Both ends must be profit oriented.

In other words, the business model must be that private sector transactions must take place in space between private sector entities as they do on earth. The government paying the private sector to go into space is no different than how it has always been. All of NASA’s previous craft were built, and to a large degree, overseen by the private sector, and paid for by tax money. So this Dragon docking is really nothing fundamentally different.

keep the change on May 26, 2012 at 2:58 PM

The great entrepreneurs want to see Clinton era tax rates restored and are generally not driven by concern over paying a slightly higher tax rate. Ultimately, their wealth is driven by a healthy middle class and solvent fiscal policies, not tax rates.

bayam on May 26, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I would happily pay the Clinton tax rates of the late 1990s if we were to cut the federal budget to the size it was in the late 1990s ($1.7 trillion for FY99, or about $6235 per citizen, compared with $3.3 trillion for FY11, or about $10,600 per citizen).

JimLennon on May 26, 2012 at 3:04 PM

So this Dragon docking is really nothing fundamentally different.

keep the change on May 26, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Wrong again.

cozmo on May 26, 2012 at 3:05 PM

100 billion = 1 ISS or 200 F22s.

Red Creek on May 26, 2012 at 3:06 PM

All of NASA’s previous craft were built, and to a large degree, overseen by the private sector, and paid for by tax money. So this Dragon docking is really nothing fundamentally different.

But do tell us how many other NASA contracts protected taxpayers from cost overruns? SpaceX is a fundamentally different company and it’s poised to become the worldwide leader in commercial launches based on cost and reliability.

bayam on May 26, 2012 at 3:07 PM

lester on May 26, 2012 at 2:57 PM

you are absolutely wrong in so many ways, Obamas ethos declare that the govt should be at the forefront in all aspects of American life, the reason he is supportive of the COTS program and spacex is due to the fact that he see’s no benefit in Space exploration via his marxist fair share utopia he wishes to establish. That is why he gutted NASA and cancelled all space programs. The fact that these companies were building there own spaceships was simply coincidental and allowed Obama cover to redirect money from NASA to welfare programs

golembythehudson on May 26, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Thank you president Obama, no thanks to GOP.

lester on May 26, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Mr Bolden said: “When I became the Nasa administrator, he [Obama] charged me with three things.

“One, he wanted me to help reinspire children to want to get into science and math; [Two,] he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.”

He added: “It is a matter of trying to reach out and get the best of all worlds, if you will, and there is much to be gained by drawing in the contributions that are possible from the Muslim [nations].”

Byron York, a conservative columnist for the Washington Examiner, characterised Mr Obama’s space policy shift as moving “from moon landings to promoting self-esteem”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/7875584/Barack-Obama-Nasa-must-try-to-make-Muslims-feel-good.html

Yes — thanks to President 0bama, and no thanks to the GOP — indeed!

FlatFoot on May 26, 2012 at 3:15 PM

lester on May 26, 2012 at 2:57 PM

…ok!…decent post there!
There are potentially profitable commercial applications as we have seen in the past from space experiments…and the taxpayer won’t have to foot the bill.

KOOLAID2 on May 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Elon Musk leans left and has repeatedly expressed his support for Obama. The same applied to Steve Jobs and other great entrepreneurs including Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Larry Page.

Once again, Hotair readers have been brainwashed by right wing talking points. The great entrepreneurs want to see Clinton era tax rates restored and are generally not driven by concern over paying a slightly higher tax rate. Ultimately, their wealth is driven by a healthy middle class and solvent fiscal policies, not tax rates.

bayam on May 26, 2012 at 2:56 PM

They are wrong. They are great entrepreneurs and have gained great wealth, thus a small raise in their taxes will have little effect on them personally, however they don’t take into account how it will affect those future entrepreneurs and small businesses who are on the rise. Those guys really don’t care because they have already reached the top, and higher taxes will keep them on the top by preventing future competition. High tax rates on people making over $250,000 will create massive stagnation in competition and stratifies the economic health of the country locking people into certain economic classes. The people hurt the most by higher taxes are the people who strive to leave the middle class for the upper class.

Solvent fiscal polices is not getting trillions of dollars in debt because of massive entitlement programs that reduce the population to the productivity of France. That is not a prescription for future national success.

I would in fact say that left wing propaganda has brainwashed many smart and wealthy entrepreneurs like the ones you have mentioned. They support policies like this based out of naivety and an ignorance of history. Being a great entrepreneur does not make them good historians. Also being wealthy does not mean they cannot be played for a fool when discussing subjects outside of their field of knowledge. Lots of rich people supported Communism, and other stupid political and religious ideologies in history. This is no different.

William Eaton on May 26, 2012 at 3:27 PM

William Eaton on May 26, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Correct. And this supposed feat of private enterprise is really a predetermined outcome of a government policy decision made decades ago to shift towards private companies to build supply ships for the ISS. So of course Musk would heap praises on the CEO of their one and only customer.

pedestrian on May 26, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Wow the space station only cost $100 billion? Kinda puts in perspective what a waste the stimulus package was.

stout77 on May 26, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Imagine if one year’s deficit were applied to a moon program. We’d have a base there and be eyeing mars. Instead, oh well, guess the Chinese can have it while we bail out Solyndra.

WitchDoctor on May 26, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Good-quality video of Dragon’s arrival at ISS.

DarkCurrent on May 26, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Out of the blue, into the black

“It’s better to burn out,
Than to fade away.”

Akzed on May 26, 2012 at 3:58 PM

This challenges the belief of liberals that you need Big Government to do Big Things.

bugsy on May 26, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Correct. And this supposed feat of private enterprise is really a predetermined outcome of a government policy decision made decades ago to shift towards private companies to build supply ships for the ISS. So of course Musk would heap praises on the CEO of their one and only customer.

pedestrian on May 26, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Sorry, wrong. Thank you for playing final Jeopardy. The Falcon 1 and Merlin engines predate COTS. In fact, Constellation was the path forward in the beginning years of SpaceX designing and bending metal. Constellation was a horrid NASA business as usual disaster that collapsed under its own weight. It kept the Shuttle “standing army” and each launch (if they had ever occurred) would have cost about the same as the entire expenditures up until now for COTS.

The real breakthrough so far is to demolish the standard cost model. A recent NASA study showed that if they had developed Falcon 9 + Dragon, it would have cost about an order of magnitude more. This is not a cost plus contract and Falcon 9 has a sizable manifest of commercial launches on the calendar. Falcon 9 is a success because it costs ~1/3 of what an Atlas 5 or Delta 4 costs. SpaceX is also developing Falcon Heavy with the ability to orbit >50 metric tons. This is not part of COTS. Dragon was designed to carry people before there was a commercial crew program. Even the Chinse admit they can’t match the SpaceX cost model.

The ultimate goal is for SpaceX to develop v 1.1 of Falcon 9 which will have complete reuseability, including 1st stage, 2nd stage and Dragon. That will take the current order of magnitude reduction in cost and take it at least 1 and possibly 2 more. This is not NASA at work.

MichiCanuck on May 26, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Good-quality video of Dragon’s arrival at ISS.

DarkCurrent on May 26, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Thanks for the link. It is very good quality….what a feat!!

bluefox on May 26, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Elon Musk has revived hundreds of millions in DOE loan guarantees for his fraud car company TESLA. Just like Solyndra.

He’s a complete fraud.

tetriskid on May 26, 2012 at 5:20 PM

I had a strange thought when I watched a video of a future Dragon version landing on landing gear. Go look at it at the Spacex site – it is under “reusable” versions.

Now just ask yourself: If you showed that to a time-traveller just arrived from 1952, would he think it was a spaceship landing, or a flying saucer?

I think the latter.

Remember the imaginary Disney spaceships with the enormous fins? That is what a person from 1952 would he would expect a spaceship to look like! But a real 2012 spaceship turns out to look pretty much like an imaginary 1952 flying saucer! What a coinky-dink, huh?

drunyan8315 on May 26, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Wrong again.

cozmo on May 26, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Hey, look, it’s my stalker. Doesn’t have much to say, kind of like the caller that just breathes heavy, just to let me know he’s there and thinking about me.

keep the change on May 26, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Thank you president Obama, no thanks to GOP.

lester on May 26, 2012 at 2:57 PM

I’m confused. Is lester now in favor of less government and more private enterprise?

HidetheDecline on May 26, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Hey, look, it’s my stalker.
keep the change on May 26, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Flatter yourself in your own mind.

You made crap accusations and cannot back up your goofy business model.

cozmo on May 26, 2012 at 5:58 PM

More unmanned cargo missions with as much reusable technology as possible were the obvious, early answers.

Yes.

But you also need human beings for some jobs, no matter how wonderful our robots seem.

There were well over 200 people involved in this entire process. Just because someone wasn’t at the stick flying the thing hardly makes this any less impressive. Especially when you take into account how quickly SpaceX did this compared to what it would have taken NASA, since they’re apparently busy with Muslim outreach. If NASA is incapable of doing its job then it’s time to pass the baton.

Is commercial, private spacefaring the answer? It has a nice, free market ring to it at first blush, but should governments relinquish their claim to low orbit real estate?

“Low orbit real estate” is already dominated by private interests. Any ability of governments to enforce claims is hampered by the fact that no government can really claim any of it under current international law. Aside from the fact that very few countries have anyway of actually doing something about it, current understanding of international law in regards to space has much more in common with maritime law than anything else. Maritime law, as we all know, is a complete and utter mess and minefield characterized by lack of enforcement.

Conversely, under what auspices would any government claim ownership of space? It’s a complicated issue.

Same as above, by the time world government’s put together some form of international standards private industry will already be out there. Strategic partnerships will counter any effort to restrict a private space company’s activities. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, SpaceX equals Americans, that’s the only thing other world governments will consider when “ruling” on space law.

There is no future in space without the enterprising nature of private companies. It would be a real damn shame if we, as Americans, bowed to UN (China/Russia/Middle East) demands for restrictions on space activities simply because they are not currently capable of competing with us on the same level. I’m practically waiting for Obama to restrict SpaceX’s activities because they are going to drive Russia and China’s satellite launching side-business out of the market.

Blacksoda on May 26, 2012 at 6:08 PM

I’ve worked this project for about 6 years from the govt side, so let me talk about it a little.

Development was started under Bush in 2005, under Space Act Agreements which are a unique contracting vehicle for NASA. Requirements are harder to levy (but can be done) and payments are only made when mutually agreed milestones are achieved.

It was let as a FAR Part 12 (Fixed Price Commercial Services) contract in December 2008. This mission was not under that contract but SpaceX will be paid under that contract in the $ per kg price agreed to.

I’m thankful most of the posters on this thread are being even-handed. PBHO’s commercial push for NASA may be a Trojan horse to decrease funding, but it’s better than Cost-Plus contracts where the contractor (still private sector) is not penalized (much) for its mistakes – aside from decreased fees – nor is able to collect on wanton changes made by government employees. Indeed, fixed-price forces the government to set its requirements early and not change them or have to pay heartily if it does.

The part about NASA outreach to the Muslim world is largely taken out of context. It was Bolden’s top OUTREACH (PR) target for NASA not his top goal overall.

SpaceX was financed somewhat by the Founders Fund, a VC group, and by the CEO himself; so “no private investment” is inaccurate. NASA and the DoD have spent a fairly large amount, but those were payments for demonstrable achievements.

321mdl on May 26, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Government airmail contracts were the initial spur to the airline industry. This is no different. There are already many fully private uses for this private technology. More will follow. We are watching the beginning a a massive new American industry. This will be bigger than our entire current GDP.

trigon on May 26, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Free market at its finest.

rbj on May 26, 2012 at 2:08 PM

It’s not quite so simple. SpaceX basically received a subsidy from the government that financed the final design, manufacturing, and testing of its rocket technology. No private investors were willing to take that risk.

bayam on May 26, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Really?

As of May 2012, SpaceX has operated on total funding of approximately one billion dollars in its first ten years of operation. Of this, private equity has provided about $200M, with Musk investing approximately $100M and other investors having put in about $100M. The remainder has come from progress payments on long-term launch contracts and development contracts. NASA has put in about $400-500M of this amount, with most of that as progress payments on launch contracts.

Krugman-

Del Dolemonte on May 26, 2012 at 6:49 PM

The great entrepreneurs want to see Clinton era tax rates restored and are generally not driven by concern over paying a slightly higher tax rate. Ultimately, their wealth is driven by a healthy middle class and solvent fiscal policies, not tax rates.

bayam on May 26, 2012 at 2:56 PM

So-called ‘great entrepreneurs’ would love a much higher tax rate than during the Clinton years. Folks like Buffet and the rest hire many tax attorneys to ensure they pay low rates. They enjoy the fact that many near peer competitors can not afford the same and are forced to bleed resources to the Feds.

It is the same reason they love expensive regulations. After all even if they get caught in the spending dragnet, they can afford it better.

If Congress ever truly devises something they can not dodge they still don’t need to worry because they are ‘Too big to fail”. They know Democrats live by just one creed when it comes to economics: ‘If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.’.

Dawnsblood on May 26, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Congrats to SpaceX and everybody who worked on this and the earlier missions leading up to this historic mission. To think that a man had a vision to send his own rockets into space, start a company to fulfill that dream and spend a lot of his own money to accomplish it, is downright amazing.

On a side note, someone ‘Beamed up Scotty’ well the only way we know how. The late Scotty (James Doohan) from Star Trek ashes went along for the ride aboard the Dragon capsule to ISS.

plutorocks on May 26, 2012 at 7:54 PM

The remainder has come from progress payments on long-term launch contracts and development contracts. NASA has put in about $400-500M of this amount, with most of that as progress payments on launch contracts.

That’s right, no mission without government funding. Private investors were unwilling to fund the final $400 + million needed to launch.
Hard to believe you have difficulty discerning basic facts.

bayam on May 26, 2012 at 8:17 PM

That arm that reaches out and grabs the Dragon Capsule… Yes… I made that. No I am not kidding…

SWalker on May 27, 2012 at 12:42 AM

This was a government subsidized project, with much taxpayer funded technology.

On top of that, we now face the prospect of space stations, craft, etc. being sold to any country.

Some things are better left to government. Nuclear bombs and space exploration are two.

avgjo on May 27, 2012 at 2:06 AM

Someone should ask Obama what he thinks of American exceptionalism now. How many private spacecraft do the Greeks have in orbit? How many does the UK have in orbit? The United States files tens of thousands of scientific citations a year. No one comes close to our exceptional levels of scientific innovation. The fact that he would give such a disassembled answer tells you his natural inclinations are generally Anti-American. But with that said it’s sad to have to say that his space policy is actually the best thing the space industry needed. It’s not that he really cares all that much about space. In fact, gutting the space program was more a byproduct of wanting to fund his social policies. But it’s his disinterest that created market space within the launch industry because previously there were areas of space flight that only NASA was allowed to touch. But NASA is just the postal service of our space infrastructure. Government generally has little to no regard for the value of your time. They have no problem wasting your time. Think about that when you waiting in line at the DMV or the postal office and the person behind the counter disappears behind the curtain and doesn’t return for 20-30 minutes. And with NASA there plans are to take 10-15 years building a huge expensive rocket that that has no actual cargo big enough to justify such a large rocket. Then, when they actually do build it, it will only fly once maybe twice a year at the cost of billions of dollars a flight. For that development program and construction cost alone you could fund hundreds of SpaceX like corporations. They would be able to innovate multiple vehicles of differing designs and capabilities. It will bring about a Moore’s Law of space flight development. It’s ironic that Obama of all people, who’s accelerated the size and scope of government spending in most every other way, ends up inadvertently heralding in a new era of access to space.

Heftyjo on May 27, 2012 at 2:23 AM

That arm that reaches out and grabs the Dragon Capsule… Yes… I made that. No I am not kidding…

SWalker on May 27, 2012 at 12:42 AM

You’re Canadian?

DarkCurrent on May 27, 2012 at 4:33 AM

I Obama had anything to do with this, it would have cost 10 times as much, the money would go to one of his cronies and it all would have gone bankrupt before leaving the launch pad.

mouell on May 27, 2012 at 10:05 AM

A hearty Heinlein salute!

Abelard on May 26, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Indeed.

AesopFan on May 27, 2012 at 8:49 PM

I hope they can put nasa out of business.

ColdWarrior57 on May 28, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Mankind belongs in space. Government is a necessary evil. It is bad enough here on earth, largely because greedy, grasping politicians of all ilk, are only interested in the own short term comfort. The only motivating force to drive mankind to the stars is profit. Bravo SpaceX. Well done!

georgeofthedesert on May 29, 2012 at 10:08 AM