Space X's site: http://www.spacex.com/
|Courtesy Space X|
For Mars, this would be a gamechanger, for it would strip one key weapon from those who seek to kill the space program--never building the rockets. No rockets--no missions. The charade worked for decades, but now the gig may be up.
In analysing this, the danger is in reading too little into it. For if the White House and Congress continue to drag their feet and pretend Mars can wait, then Mr. Musk and other wealthy space supporters could just pool their money, sell sponsorships for the rest, paint "Just Do It!" on the spaceship (for $100 million in advertising) and put together an entirely privately financed mission to Mars!
So how might NASA react? To prove their relevance, they may feel greater pressure to push for funding to actually go to the Moon and Mars. And the White House, robbed of their lie that Mars is only possible in 2035, may be forced to have a change of heart. Congress may also see the light and get serious. None would want to not be part of this! Yes, they can try to regulate-to-death private spaceflight and go back to planning missions to nowhere, so we must keep up the pressure on Congress.
So maybe we can indeed re-cast JFK's vision, and go to the Moon and the asteroids in THIS decade and to Mars very soon afterwards--NASA, Space-X and other private companies could put together a more exciting space program over the next decade than would be possible with either singly. I'll bet we'll see more private ventures developing technology for space exploration.
Now more than ever do we need to put the pressure on Congress to adopt a bold space progam.
Private heavy lift: any more proof needed that America is still great?
Update 8/10/10: Space X backtracked after this announcement, stating this concept was more of an idea discussed at Space X than an planned or actual project. Perhaps the mere discussion of private heavy lift will create sufficient interest from satellite manufacturers to make it worth building. Go ahead and do it, build real heavy lift and step up the pressure to go to the Moon and Mars.
Post a Comment