Good news – NASA clears SpaceX for trial run to space station:
To encourage commercial cargo runs, NASA has hired SpaceX and a second company, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. to fly cargo to the space station, a $100 billion project of 16 countries, which orbits about 240 miles above Earth.
A successful test flight by SpaceX — as well as a similar run by Orbital scheduled for next year — would begin restoring U.S. access to the station, which is expected to remain operational until at least 2020.
As others have pointed out, space policy is the one area where the Obama administration seems to be getting things more or less right – and that’s all the more amazing for it involving commercial endeavors. (It’s early, of course – if and when these commercial startups hit their stride, that will be when the federal government starts taxing and regulating them out of business like every other successful industry.)