Saluting Elon Musk and the SpaceX Dragon

It didn’t receive the saturation media coverage of a car chase through a Tulsa trailer park, but yesterday’s successful docking of the private, commercial space ship Dragon with the International Space Station is getting a bit more respect today. And I would imagine there are some champagne hang-overs around the country.

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) founder Elon Musk got a congratulatory phone call from President Obama. The Caller ID was blocked, so at first he thought it was a telemarketer! What a great name – Elon Musk! Well, Barack Obama, too. (The mark of a great name is if I had tried to use it for a character in fiction, the editors would have immediately rejected the manuscript.)

Of the numerous glowing headlines on the news screen, my favorite is, “SpaceX Dragon Successfully Silences Critics.” No amount of success in space will ever convince the neanderthal faction that claims man was not meant to fly. But a new era in space started yesterday, and nobody can say otherwise.

The ramifications of all this keep multiplying when you think about it. Imagine the job creation to come from this, an entirely new industry just starting up. And this is an industry that is all about spawning new industries, just as automobiles and earthly aviation did. You can feel the potential, like holding a new-born baby. All the futures yet to come are bound up in it.

Elon Musk spoke to reporters today – “I think this really is going to be recognized as a significantly historical step forward in space travel, so I hope we’re the first of many to come.”

I could have told you that.

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