First Privately Owned Spacecraft To Launch

SpaceX's Dragon capsule at headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

It sounds like the beginning of a Kurt Vonnegut novel, but the first privately owned spacecraft will make its attempt at breaking through the atmosphere and returning safely. If this trip proves successful, NASA will look towards private funding. The New York Daily News reports:

The future of the space travel will undergo a crucial test Tuesday when the first privately owned spaceship attempts a launch into orbit.

If it succeeds, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule will then try to reenter the atmosphere – also a first for a nongovernment-owned spacecraft.

The outcome of the launch will play a vital role in determining the direction of U.S. space travel as NASA looks to private companies to fill in the gap as the space shuttle program is put into mothballs next year.

“[It is] a huge thing, gigantic, historic,” TV science host Bill Nye told AOL News. “It may very well lead to everyday people having access to space.”

[Continues at NY Daily News]

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  • http://www.smashedbottle.com/ sebastian

    Lets privatize the last thing the united states government does well. Why not!

    • Hadrian999

      when is the last time nasa did something well, they have been resting on decades old laurels for quite some time, I want them to produce either 1.) some hot blue skinned alien chicks for a capt. Kirk style bootie call, or 2.) new products derived from all this research and development. grainy out of focus pics are great fun to BS about on coast to coast but we need a little more bang for our buck.

      • http://www.smashedbottle.com/ sebastian

        They discovered that life can be arsenic-based. How many incredible, fundamentally science changing discoveries do they need to make a week?

        • Hadrian999

          i’ll give them credit when they turn that into a practical product that changes some portion of my life
          or works toward the goal that they were created for, space exploration.

  • http://www.smashedbottle.com/ sebastian

    Lets privatize the last thing the united states government does well. Why not!

  • Hadrian999

    when is the last time nasa did something well, they have been resting on decades old laurels for quite some time, I want them to produce either 1.) some hot blue skinned alien chicks for a capt. Kirk style bootie call, or 2.) new products derived from all this research and development. grainy out of focus pics are great fun to BS about on coast to coast but we need a little more bang for our buck.

  • Marklar_Prime

    How long before the TSA demands to give them one of their trademark happy endings?

  • http://twitter.com/Marklar_Prime Marklar Kronkite

    How long before the TSA demands to give them one of their trademark happy endings?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Mr Nye’s optimism is charming but misplaced…I see a much more Chuck Palanchuik ‘Fight Club’ endgame to all this privatizing of space travel. The Coca-cola Galaxy, the Nike Spiral, Planet Starbucks etc etc etc. Left in the hands of the cockroaches who devour all to feed nothing more than ego and id…it can only be worse than when it was run by the tittering astro dweebs of NASA.

    • Hadrian999

      of course Nye will say something like that, he works for fox news, a pro corporate anti government statement is expected every he and his bow tie show up

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Mr Nye’s optimism is charming but misplaced…I see a much more Chuck Palanchuik ‘Fight Club’ endgame to all this privatizing of space travel. The Coca-cola Galaxy, the Nike Spiral, Planet Starbucks etc etc etc. Left in the hands of the cockroaches who devour all to feed nothing more than ego and id…it can only be worse than when it was run by the tittering astro dweebs of NASA.

  • http://www.smashedbottle.com/ sebastian

    They discovered that life can be arsenic-based. How many incredible, fundamentally science changing discoveries do they need to make a week?

  • Hadrian999

    i’ll give them credit when they turn that into a practical product that changes some portion of my life
    or works toward the goal that they were created for, space exploration.

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  • Hadrian999

    of course Nye will say something like that, he works for fox news, a pro corporate anti government statement is expected every he and his bow tie show up