Friday, 10 December 2010

"I am sort of in semi-shock. I wish I could be more articulate at moments like this"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Share it Please
This picture is actually from the Falcon 9 maiden launch on June 4th, but you get the idea. :)

Those were the words of Elon Musk, CEO and co-founder of SpaceX after his company was the first ever non-government entity to launch a spacecraft into orbit on December 8th. Everything went exactly according to plan and the Dragon Capsule splashed down precisely on time after completing two orbits around the Earth. On the next planned launch the Dragon will make a flyby of ISS and after that an actual docking will take place.

There's a HD version of the video here, but it's missing the onboard camera.

It might not seem like such a big thing, after all, Russia and the US have been doing this since the sixties, but that's just it; this is a commercial company, not a nation. I'm sure this date will be remembered in the future as the day commercial space operations proved itself ready and capable enough to shoulder much of what today is exclusive to just a few governments. I think NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said it best: "The historic significance of today's achievement by SpaceX should not be lost. These new explorers are to spaceflight what Lindbergh was to commercial aviation."

And I think he's exactly right. Spaceflight is still in it's infancy but with commercial companies starting serious work in the field it'll open up space to more people than ever before. Dare I dream of a future where spaceflight is as commonplace as a transatlantic flight is today? :)

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