Hey! Space taxi!!!!

Saw the news that Boeing, SpaceX win contracts to build ‘space taxis’ for NASA. It’s been three years since the space shuttle Atlantis made it’s final flight and US space travel was dependent on Russian vehicles.

The race for a privately produced spacecraft has gone on in the background since before the shuttle was retired, sometimes obscurely, sometimes with bursts of interesting developments. I largely followed things on the surface, so knew that SpaceX was looking promising, but not really knowing the details. I imagine we’ll all know a lot more very soon.

This is the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft in 2012 Will the passenger vehicles be similar? (Photo from WikiMedia.)

There are concerns about the privatization of space. The opportunities and scientific developments that come from space exploration are important to everyone and some are concerned that this marks a trend to limiting the benefits of space to the elite.  I’m not worried, though. I think this marks a new era in space and might lead us closer to the time when a trip into space is as common as an airplane trip to Florida. That’s some time away, obviously, but perhaps in our lifetime.

I’ll be watching developments with interest.

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