I'm generally for private ownership, but I see nothing but trouble coming from the situation of private citizens having the technology and capability to launch rockets capable of carrying a heavy payload into space. If you can put a rocket into orbit, you also have a ballistic missile you can drop on pretty much any city you want. Yeah, I know, second amendment rights and all, but still. It doesn't make me feel safer.
As screwed up as the global business scenario is - it's probably generally accepted as common sense that wiping out a city with a nuke on a ballistic missile isn't very profitable or good for business in the long term.
I'd say yes. We live in a country where people can make great fortunes and do great things with it. Elon Musk did not do either in South Africa.
Why would anyone be "embarrassed" at buying Soyuz seats from the Russians? It is an INTERNATIONAL Space Station. Everyone does their part.
Delmoi, you are simply wrong. Ten minutes of your time could provide quit a few examples of "practical space tech" by people who are not Russians. Have you seen the Amine Swingbed project? The Canadian manipulator arms? The ISS combustion facility? The SSHDTV cameras? That's NASA, CSA, ESA, and JAXA for you.
And, as of right now, there's no way a Falcon 9/Dragon is cheaper. We've dumped a ton of money into SpaceX , and so far, what we're netting is we're about to deliver 520kg of cargo to the ISS and bring 660kg back. These are very unimpressive numbers (STS would bring on the order of 10,000kg) but this is a test flight, and given that it is a test flight they brought forward, this is still an impressive performance, provided they do successfully dock and the Dragon held pressure.
if you're going anywhere other than LEO
The shuttle cargo bay is without peer for the task of bringing things back down from orbit, which might be a frequently useful task some day, but sadly not any time soon.
Scotty was onboard, or his remains at least.
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