NASA has awarded a big contract to resupply the space station to a private company, SpaceX, started by PayPal co-founder by Elon Musk in 2002.
A successful launch of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket on June 4 was the first of three test flights for NASA. Supply missions could begin in 2011. The contract calls for a dozen flights and gives NASA an option to order more.
SpaceX executives have many reasons to be happy about the latest development. Not the least is the hope it brings that their Falcon rocket will become memorable for something besides the failed attempt to orbit the remains of astronaut Gordon Cooper and actor James Doohan, something Taral Wayne still hasn’t gotten over:
It’s really kind of sad, considering how Scotty was last seen in ST:TNG, preserved in a transporter loop for decades, and then free to roam the galaxy again. In reality the poor dimp falls back to earth and ends up as just another whiff of smog.
[Thanks to Taral for the story.]