We have been critics of the Obama Administration’s proposal to turn America’s human space flight program over to commercial providers and, in particular, we have been very tough on SpaceX’s efforts to cast itself as ready, willing, and able to launch astronauts within 3 years, given its past difficulties in successfully launching Falcon 1. But today, none of those policy considerations matter. Today is a time to gather around and wish Falcon 9 Godspeed.
Elon Musk deserves admiration and respect for his willingness to bet with his own money when others dared not because he believed in his vision and his people. The engineers, technicians and others who make up the SpaceX’s soul should be applauded for doing what only a few have done since the dawn of rocketry–create a new rocket, engine, and spacecraft from scratch.
Those of us who have put money on a barrel, in spite of others admonishments that the safe bet was to do nothing, know that a safe bet returns nothing because it does not challenge. It takes courage and dedication to do what the SpaceX’s leadership and rank-and-file have accomplished. Regardless of how their bird, Falcon 9, flies, our hearts and prayers are with the people of SpaceX and their bird; may she fly true. Today is their day.
God speed, Falcon 9!