Progress on the commercial space front

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Progress on the commercial space front.

The most important announcement is NASA’s official acceptance of SpaceX’s COTS contract to transport cargo to and from ISS. The first official cargo mission is set for no earlier than October 8.



  • jwing

    Is the SpaceX and NASA edreavor “progress” or is it just another form of Obam’a crony capitalism/socialism? I just finished reading an article posted on by George Landruth entitled, “SpaceX: Solyndra in Space.” The article makes some solid points: if a true free market mechanism was employed, SpaceX would initiallyhave invested its own money or private venture capital not NASA. Also, NASA would not own thetechnologies but SpaceX would if it was truly a private enterprise. Check out this article as I would appreciate reading the comments by posters to Behind the Black who have a far greater understanding of the current developments in space and SpaceX as a company. Thanks.

  • Jim,

    You should know that:

    1. SpaceX did and continues to invest its own money in Dragon/Falcon 9. NASA’s money is essentially a subsidy.
    2. SpaceX owns the technologies, not NASA.

    These two points, especially the second, are what make this approach so different from every other past NASA effort to build a replacement to the shuttle.

    Nonetheless, it would preferable if the government didn’t subsidize these companies, but merely bought their product like any other customer.

    One final point: Unlike Solyndra, where the CEO was a big fund-raiser and contributor to the Obama campaign, Elon Musk has not been a campaign contributor, as far as I know. (If he has, the sums have been inconsequential.) Moreover, unlike Solyndra, where gigantic sums of government money were given to a company before it had achieved anything, SpaceX has gotten its NASA subsidies as a reward for actual achievement. There is a difference between the two.

  • jwing

    Thank you for that informative reply. I was hoping you or someone would be able to confiim my original impressions of the private space industry. Not that there isn’t a place for NASA, but my hope is that private industry will ultimately be the innovator and vanguard. When will SpaceX go public?

Leave a Reply

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