Not Quite The Moon, But Progress

A new milestone in space this week, as the SpaceX craft successfully docked with the International Space Station in low earth orbit:

Not necessarily as exciting as a manned mission to another planetary body, but (given the current funding and political barriers to that goal which exist in America today) an important step toward human progress in space nonetheless – the first time that a commercially built and operated spacecraft has docked with the space station.

Perhaps it is a good thing that these kind of routine flights are now being handed off in their entirety to the private sector, where they can be refined and made more cost-effective. Now, governmental bodies (well, let’s not kid ourselves, just NASA really) will be free to devote more resources to new programmes with the aim of getting humans beyond low earth orbit again, for the first time since December 1972.

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