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Rocket History: Up, up and away,,,finally

Private rocket heads to the International Space Station

Well, the United States made history again, today.  The private company SpaceX launched the first private cargo ship headed to the International Space Station.  It was touch and go due to a three day delay.  Three days ago the flight was scrubbed at the last second due to an engine problem.  I guess it is better to be safe than sorry when you are spending millions developing and testing a rocket that, for the time being, replaces the space shuttles that are now sitting in museums.

Since the space shuttle flights ended, the US has been dependant upon the Russians for transporting supplies to the ISS.  I am sure that our government was none too happy depending on the Russians for this service.

I believe that private enterprise is probably the best way to go with many of the space flights to the ISS.  It seems that we spend a great deal more of our tax dollars doing this activity ourselves.  Many times private enterprise can provide services at a lower rate than our government can.

Perhaps we should let private industry sort and deliver our mail.  I am willing to bet that they could do it a lot cheaper than it is being done right now.  They would not put up with losing billions to provide this service.

Well, that is to be seen.  For the time being we look toward Florida for two historic events.  The first was the first private rocket shot to the ISS.  The second was the woman in Boca Raton who found $1800 at a Chase ATM and turned it in.  Both are amazing and worthy of noting. 

Michael Kaynard is a local photographer who lives in West Ashley.  His photos can be found at http://kaynardphotography.webs.com.  He can be contacted at mkaynard@gmail.com and 843-412-2299.

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Jonathan Allen May 22, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Great post Michael, I especially like the bit of humor at the end - will wonders never cease? I too am excited about private industry getting into the space game, the dreams and fantasies of SciFi fans everywhere are a step closer to reality. And SpaceX isn't the only company getting into the space game. Virgin Galactic is offering sub-orbital flights and a couple of weeks ago NPR aired a couple of interviews with Planetary Resources Inc. which wants to start mining asteroids. 100 years ago we were just beginning to experiment with powered flight and now we're starting to seriously think about maintaining a human presence beyond the confines of planet earth. It is definitely an exciting time to be alive. I'm not so sure about turning the Postal Service over to a private company though. Don't get me wrong I think FedEx and UPS are great at what they do, but I doubt they would be able to deliver the mail any more efficiently or more cheaply than the USPS. The notion that government should be run like a business doesn't necessarily sit right with me, the motives and purposes of a for-profit organization are too divergent from the motives and purposes of government which is essentially a not-for-profit organization. Where do the interests of investors and shareholders outweigh the interests of the citizens relying on the services being provided? Businesses are designed to make money, governments should be designed to serve the interests of the governed, which isn't always cheap.
Michael Kaynard May 22, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Good points. I am glad someone out there is thinking and not afraid to voice their opinion, even if it is wrong (just kidding). Glad to hear from you. Live long and prosper!
JoSCh May 23, 2012 at 12:31 PM
The way airlines (proven success) mail (proven success) hydropower (proven success) computers and the internet (proven success) GPS (proven success) and hopefully spaceflight (in it infancy, successful initial tests) have transitioned from subsidized industry to private industry is a great model for government sponsored innovation for fields too large, expensive and/or risky for private equity to fund. I'd love to see this trend continue building on the gains it's already made in alternative American produced energy among other innovations, I wish the opponents to "big government" would realize that we (America) should not be about profit for the few, we're about pushing humanity forward and upward.

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