Crew Dragon

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Mendalla

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The first crewed launch from US soil in years is finally a go. And normally, as a space geek, I would be pretty excited. The success of SpaceX in a field normally dominated by big, old aerospace companies like Boeing and Lockheed has been a real breath of fresh air.

But Elon Musk started spewing Covid conspiracy nonsense and basically trying to set himself up as above government with his attempts to reopen Tesla when the county they are located in is still in lockdown. Not really the image of the man who will revolutionize space travel any more. More the image of a spoiled brat billionaire throwing a tantrum. Rather like another wealthy American we all know and don't love.

So, I hope this goes well and wish the astronauts godspeed, but dread the Musk ego spew that will inevitably follow a successful mission. And I do think this is going to succeed. Dragon is well tested and it's being launched on a Falcon 9 which, if anything, is even better tested after being in service for something like a decade.

NASA has, rightly or wrongly, hitched their cart to Elon Musk's horse. I just hope they are not going to regret it.

 

Mendalla

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And maybe it is a reflection of me not being an American that I don't see launching from US soil is a US spacecraft as that big a deal in the end. If I was going to travel to the ISS today, I would rather be on a Russian Soyuz than a Dragon. It's been around almost as long as I have, has flown probably hundreds of flight now, and is a rock solid spacecraft. So, frankly, this is really just about America pride over having to pay another country to launch their astronauts. There is no good technical reason they can't keep using Soyuz.
 
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