Commercial Rocket Will Fly to the Space Station
For me this is like the mark of a new epoch, it’s the highest wave of the incoming tide of new things and new ways for this century. Fasten your seat belts, ‘cause here we go.
For the first time, a private company will launch a rocket to the International Space Station, sending it on a grocery run this weekend that could be the shape of things to come for America’s space program.
If this unmanned flight and others like it succeed, commercial spacecraft could be ferrying astronauts to the orbiting outpost within five years.
It’s a transition that has been in the works since the middle of the last decade, when President George W. Bush decided to retire the space shuttle and devote more of NASA’s energies to venturing deeper into space. (and Yay!)
Saturday’s flight by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is “a thoroughly exciting moment in the history of spaceflight, but is just the beginning of a new way of doing business for NASA,” said President Barack Obama’s chief science adviser, John Holdren.
By handing off space station launches to private business, “NASA is freeing itself up to focus on exploring beyond low Earth orbit for the first time in 40 years.”