Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Dragon by the Tail

The idea of a man-made satellite was conceived first by a science fiction writer. Space travel was often depicted as a private activity in that genre, with sci-fi master Robert Heinlein, especially, imagining private launches of rockets as well as private travel from Earth to Moon, and beyond.

But for fifty years, governments have directed — and still direct — money, technology and manpower to develop outposts in space. The current International Space Station is a multi-government project. The rockets that lift payloads of Earth’s surface and into orbit, allowing the station to continue to operate, have all been state-run efforts.SpaceX Falcon rocket launch for Dragon

Until now.

Last week, a private company launched a rocket into orbit, and this weekend its unmanned cargo ship, named Dragon, was caught by a robotic arm and dragged in to dock with the space station.

“Looks like we got us a Dragon by the tail,” came the words from out there.

Since mothballing the Shuttle program, NASA has been hiring Russian rockets to launch American payloads, thus meeting American “obligations” to the international effort. Now, with this first successful private launch to a space station, NASA will be able to rely on more local technology and expertise.

By contracting with private firms like SpaceX — the enterprise that launched Dragon — NASA hopes to save money. Its current contract with SpaceX amounts about $1.6 billion.

We can argue about the necessity of developing “outer space,” I know. But if contracting out with private enterprise can save money over government-run efforts, and at the same time encourage the old science fiction dream of private business in space, that seems like progress.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

3 Comments

  1. Dagney says:

    “But if contracting out with private enterprise can save money over government-run efforts, and at the same time encourage the old science fiction dream of private business in space, that seems like progress.”

    Yes, it does. Most likely an unintended consequence of the Obama regime.

  2. Brian Wright says:

    But isn’t the real question whether or not the use of space is truly free market? NASA is not a market entity even if it lets contracts to corporations for …? That’s another question: are these state-privileged-and-funded corporations the ones doing business out there, and if so, what kind of business.

    A spy satellite is still a spy satellite even if some telecom conglomerate puts it in space. I’m seriously concerned that the only enterprises being furthered in space by US entities–government or corporate–are for control and domination of the human slaves by the Global Cartel. And if anyone gets out of line, they’ll send a drone–manufactured by some bastion of free enterprise like Lockheed Martin–to kill you.

    http://brianrwright.com/CoffeeCoasterBlog/?p=728

    If the state has its boot on my face, I don’t much care whether it’s been issued to a subcontractor.

  3. Mike Frese says:

    If I remember correctly, Robert Heinlein invented the concept of communications satellites, not artificial satellites, in general.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


© 2017 Common Sense with Paul Jacob, All Rights Reserved. Back to top