Thursday, April 12, 2012

Growing up I wanted to be an astronaut. To be able to be the newest explorer and get into the history books. Every night on the news I heard about the race to space ; the quest to be on the moon first before the Russians. All the space movies were inspired by reality. Well, now there isn’t any space program in America and try finding a new book. They aren’t even publishing encyclopedias any more.
The reality is that for the first time in 30 years the United States has no way of its own to launch astronauts into space. It is the end of an era. So, if the United States no longer is supporting a space program then what is an American child supposed to dream of being? JayZ or Byonce? Those two are good but I don’t think they will be historic. Where did the American pride and expertise go to in investing in the countries future? President Kennedy would be angry to see how far the nation’s priorities have changed. Hey, you can’t even find a Kennedy anymore!
This era is not led by a government funded National Space association but by a rich guy who likes space. In the history of space flight only 4 entities have launched a space capsule into orbit and successfully brought it back to the earth. The United States, Russia, China and Elon Musk. Who? Mr. Musk is a wealthy internet entrepreneur who has vowed to revolutionize space exploration by bringing down the high cost of flights.
America’s space program has retired the space shuttle last summer and now has to pay its old rival Russia to fly American Astronauts into space. Why isn’t the government funding our space program any more? Musk is one of the contenders trying to get a government contract to build America’s next manned space craft. He believes he has a good chance of getting it.
When the final shuttle mission ended last July for the first time in 3 decades the United States had no way to launch astronauts into space. It was the end of one era and the beginning of another. Instead of America designing the next American spacecraft ,the White house decided that private industry should design ,build and fly it. Wasn’t half the point of the government controlling it was in order to keep findings from space travel a secret you know, to protect Americans?
Now our space program is controlled by commercial development. One of the companies looking for that contract is Spacex. Musk is the founder and CEO. He is 40 years old, and is worth $2 Billion dollars. He is not your typical corporate CEO. As a teen he wrote computer games growing up in South Africa, then he went to silicone valley where he became one of the most successful entrepreneurs by becoming the co-founder of Pay Pal.
He went on to build the Tesla car company that produces 5 thousand expensive all electric cars a year. He has another company that sells solar systems. When E-Bay bought Pay Pal in 2002, Musk looked for a way to launch his good fortune into orbit. So, should something this important be put into the hands of some young lucky billionaires? Or, be a governmentally funded part of America run by scientists?
Musk made 3 trips to Russia trying to buy an intercontinental ballistic missal, basically a space ship and wanted to send it to Mars with a green house on it and take pictures to send to earth. Kind of weird! This guy belongs in a Sci-Fi movie playing the part of the eccentric rich guy trying to control the world. And, the government lets him! Thank goodness the spaceship was so expensive that it never flew.
So, he decided that the only affordable way to go is to build his own space ship and founded his company Spacex. He had poured $100 Million dollars of his own money into the project. He goes blindly into the rocket business never building one before and not knowing anything about rockets. He would have to be insane to think the odds were in his favor.
The quest is that he believes that low cost space exploration is essential to the survival of man-kind. He does not want to be confined to earth and wait for its extinction. Wow! What happened to the thought of preserving the only place we know of for our health and survival? And now young boys shouldn’t dream of being an astronaut. They are only bigger bus drivers now. Kid! Just make lots of money and even governments will let you do whatever you want. If there is a God? Please help us.

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