Up, up and away from it all: A SpaceX success
Over the past weekend, while you were dutifully masked and gloved, valiantly demanding social justice, two other Americans, dutifully masked, gloved, and attired in other National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)–approved gear, soared above all earthly concerns as SpaceX's Crew Dragon successfully reached the International Space Station Sunday morning, boarding the ISS three hours later.
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley wait for launch inside the Crew Dragon spaceship, May 30, 2020. Screenshot/NASA TV.
All this happened because of a unique public-private partnership; NASA (government) selected SpaceX and Boeing (private) to ferry non-piloted supply spacecraft and now astronaut-piloted ones to the ISS. According to NASA:
NASA identified a need for a crew transportation system and a broad set of requirements that would be necessary to ensure crew safety. In the case of commercial crew, the need centered around a safe, reliable and cost-effective means of getting humans to low-Earth orbit, including the International Space Station, and return safely to Earth. Interested companies are free to design in a way they think is best and are encouraged to apply their most efficient and effective manufacturing and business operating techniques. The companies own and operate their hardware and infrastructure. NASA's engineers and aerospace specialists work closely with the commercial companies, allowing for substantial insight into the development process and offering up expertise and available resources.
The Commercial Crew Program is the first time this model has been implemented.
But you knew all that, as the American media are so proud of, so knowledgeable about American scientific accomplishments. Or something. Visit NASA for some truly spectacular otherworldly this-worldly sights.