With the sun setting on the NASA’s shuttle program things were looking grim. We had no vehicles to put people or payloads into space, especially to support the International Space Station. It looked like we’d be paying other countries hundreds of millions of dollars for us to be able to piggy back on their flights.
The one underdog in the story was private industry. There’s been a race to see if it could be done. Yesterday, SpaceX nailed it everyway possible with the successful launch of their Falcon9 rocket.
Sitting on top of the rocket is the Dragon module. It can carry seven people, pure payloads, or a mix thereof. It’s compatible with the ISS, so we can continue to deliver personnel and supplies.
SpaceX’s success means so much more than just their engineering proven to be right – it means the U.S. is back in the space game in a major way and private industry has a new frontier to build and explore. It also means NASA is free to focus on other things, freeing up budgets for other missions. Good news all around!