SpaceX got one into orbit!

I haven’t paid a lot of attention to SpaceX lately, because so far their only product has been press releases about their latest test failure – plus they took a lot of money from NASA which, while probably necessary, didn’t endear them to me. But hey, you know what Willy Sutton said about that.

But yesterday, while I was sawing logs, SpaceX got their Falcon 9 off the ground and into a successful orbit.

Nay-sayers snarked about 1964 technology, and lamented the death of NASA’s Constellation Program. But NASA … well, don’t get me started on NASA. I’ve called it the Space Flight Prevention Agency for years. If NASA had been in charge of the westward expansion, they’d still be expensively experimenting with ways to get highly-trained professionals across the Mississippi. We’re talking about a government agency that, forty years after the moon landing, no longer has a way to put people into LEO. And people still want to leave spaceflight in their bureaucratic hands? I think not. Oh, Washington will keep shoveling money at them, because congresscritters will always want to brag about jobs in their districts. But it’s a complete waste, and has been since Apollo.

The problem isn’t the technology. The technology has been around for fifty years. The problem is the business model. In 1972 NASA promised the space shuttle would provide routine access to LEO at about $1000 per pound launch cost. It kept neither promise: The insanely-expensive shuttles are harder to maintain and launch than the Saturn V was, and the cost-per-pound was closer to ten thousand than to one – not to mention all the perfectly good people the horrid things killed. And all that money just begged Congress to get involved, with every one of those hundreds of parasites demanding a piece of the action for their districts in exchange for them voting more money to NASA. It’s no way to run a business, and if you can’t turn spaceflight into a profitable business there’s no reason to do it. Put government in charge of finding a use for space and you end up with the International White Elephant Space Station, whose tiny crew is so busy keeping the thing running they don’t have time for anything else.

Okay, see, I told you not to get me started on NASA. But you wouldn’t listen.

Anyway, the business of business is business. It’s time to stop farking around with government bureaucracies and let the big boys do it. It’s forty years past time. I was supposed to be wearing a shiny suit and living on an asteroid by now, dammit.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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To the stake with the heretic!