Tuesday, 22 May 2012

An awesome day for Commercial Spaceflight.

Being a bit of a space-junkie, I naturally had to get up and watch this morning's launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, propelling the Dragon capsule, for the first ever time, into space to resupply the International Space Station.


A completely commercial company delivering supplies to the ISS. That's pretty cool.

I am not an American citizen, I am just a fan and on-looker from across the seas in the United Kingdom. I do, however, have a big belief that a fully functioning commercial space program is a very positive step for the American space industry. The Shuttle program demonstrated that it was possible to have routine trips, with relative safety. Now commercial players should be able to continue that work, all the time striving to take standards up and costs down.

Although we are a long way off from "2 for 1 Tickets to the Moon", this idea is of course what a lot of people think about when "commercial spaceflight" is mentioned. Commercial spaceflight can be much more than this, however that concept of private trips to space is nothing to shy away from. In my opinion getting more people excited and interested in space exploration is no bad thing at all. Anyway, wouldn't we all love a trip to see that view of Earth we've seen on TV countless times? I know I would.

There is another reason that commercial spaceflight is a huge step forward for the industry. It takes the "relatively mundane" tasks*, and allows government agencies such as NASA to get on with carrying out even deeper exploration into space and the universe we live in. Something I can't help but get excited about.

Although they have a long way to go with this mission, SpaceX have got off to a flying start (sorry...), I will be following the news avidly, and really wish them and their partners in NASA and the COTS team the very best of luck!

*By mundane, I really mean... "still breathtakingly exciting, but not quite as exciting as getting a human to mars" - just to be clear!