Capitalism in space: Based on the launch plans now announced, SpaceX will double its fleet of reusable manned Dragon capsules from two to four.
The upcoming October 30th launch of a new crew to ISS will use a new as yet unnamed Dragon capsule. In addition, the April ’22 flight will use another new capsule.
The four previous manned Dragon flights used Resilience (twice) and Endeavour (twice).
At the moment SpaceX appears to be reserving Resilience for non-ISS tourist flights. It was used in September in this way for the Inspiration4 private mission, and I expect it will be used again for the December Space Adventures tourist flight. For these non-ISS flights SpaceX removed Resilience’s docking port, replacing it with a large window.
The result will be that a private American company will own its own fleet of manned spaceships, three of which can dock with ISS, and one of which aimed at just orbiting the Earth. That’s a private company, not a nation. And that private company made it happen in just a little over a decade.
Who knows what wonders capitalism and freedom could accomplish, if we simply had the courage to let it?
On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.
The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon
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The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News