Saturday, May 19, 2012

SpaceX Launch Aborted: Why do we care?

SpaceX's first launch attempt to the space station flopped.  What does it mean and why should we care? 

It wasn't that long ago that President Obama was slammed for shifting NASA's attention on Mars, and cutting funding for the space shuttles.  It was proclaimed as a necessity in the budget by Republicans, as they showed their lack of faith in private enterprise when it comes to space.  They proclaimed it as the end of American adventurism by this President.

Yet, now, we are starting to see the results of previous programs coming to fruition.  SpaceX failed in its first attempt but several companies are already going to space in test aircraft and selling trips to the rich to go to space.  It is the beginning of space tourism that started with incentives for development over the last decade. 

With success or failure on this trial, it will bring more to the race to colonize space for space tourism.  It is bringing new ideas to bear about how to do it more efficiently, and how to do it so you and I can afford to go to space as if it was a trip to Disneyland (what an amazing experience that would be, DisneySpace).

However, the great benefits come from the research and development focusing on travel to Mars that NASA is focused on.  Tomorrow's computer, microwave, or other techologies may well come from the research done to figure out solutions on going to Mars.  Whether we get to Mars or not, these developments bode well for the next economic revolution in America from the technologies that will become pervasive 20 years from now.

Realize, space tourism is tomorrow is only possible from that crazy investment of trying to go to the moon.  And whether or not SpaceX succeeds in the coming years or fails, we will see the development of space in ways we cannot yet understand.  It will mean new understandings, new inventions, and new possibilities for us all.  Celebrate the attempt, for in the attempt is where Greatness comes from.

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