News and Commentary on Space
UPDATE: added NASA’s coverage of the launch, from liftoff through (I’m guessing) max-Q.
Congratulations to SpaceX on a successful first launch of the Falcon 9. With any luck, they just drove a 180-foot-long aluminum stake through the heart of Ares-I. Heh.
It’s amusing, though, that a company founded by a dot-com millionaire can’t seem to get a webcast video to work properly. But I suppose there were other, more important concerns this morning.
Oddly enough, the launch was originally scheduled (the aborted attempt) at the same time as the biweekly all-hands teleconference with the LM Orion management team — otherwise known as the “everything is fine, don’t panic” meeting. I missed the first part of the meeting, but the portion I sat in on was dominated by voices sounding like relatives of Milton from “Office Space”, asking tediously detailed and irritatingly petulant questions about layoff notices, benefit rollovers, job transfers and other HR matters “for when the time comes”. A very strange juxtaposition.
One of the good things about the Falcon 9 success is that it will help still some of the critical voices speaking out against commercial crew and cargo, and newspace in general. Or if not still them, at least force them to find something else to complain about regarding newspace, much as successful missile defense intercepts forced critics who claimed it was physically impossible to pull off an intercept to find some other rationalization for their opposition. Had the launch failed, it would have been much more difficult to establish credibility for newspace — with this success, however, the industry can probably tolerate a few less than successful follow-on launches before losing the credibility established by SpaceX.
A young girl sets out to prove herself by resolving a long-forgotten mystery. But when she gets close to the truth, what she thought was a harmless adventure becomes a threat to the future of the independent commercial settlements on Mars.