The Battle Between SpaceX And Boeing Is Heating Up
Ending the shuttle program without an alternative already set up was a colossal blunder on the government’s part. The reason the population really got sad over the end up the shuttle program was because there wasn’t something new and better right around the corner. From Gemini we went to Apollo, from Apollo we went to the shuttle program, and from the shuttle program we went to asking for rides. Thankfully, Elon Musks’s SpaceX has signed a deal with NASA to send its Crew Dragon capsule up to the International Space Station by 2017. This means that NASA won’t have to pay Russia to send our people up anymore.
This doesn’t mean that SpaceX is the winner of this new space race. Boeing is still clamoring to be part of it. The fact that a massive company like Boeing is in direct competition with an upstart like SpaceX really shows that Elon Musk isn’t messing around when it comes to matching wits with big companies like Boeing. Hell, Boeing was involved in the construction of the shuttle, and was the first company contracted for the ISS.
SpaceX already has an ambitious timeline for getting out in front and heading to space on the norm.
What makes this space race different is that it mostly remains behind the scenes. Where once every available news channel would cover everything space related in the 60s, it has changed to a mostly hidden battle between companies trying to beat the other in getting there first.
What SpaceX is setting up is its timeline to get to launch a test flight its Dragon spacecraft by the end of next year, and then hopefully getting a first crewed flight up to the ISS by March of 2017. Boeing is attempting to test its Starliner spacecraft in 2017, and hopefully getting its first crewed flight by September of 2017. It’s one thing to put a timeline on something like this, but it’s another to actually accomplish it.
Think about it: On October 4th, 1957, Russia sent up the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, to circle the globe. In a little over a decade, we had humans walking around on the Moon. No one since that last Moon landing has been as far as the Moon in decades. It seems that both of these companies are fighting over a frontier that NASA has already conquered years ago.
Boeing should be pitching ideas about how to get to Mars instead of working on reusable capsules that Russia has used for years. Then again, Boeing also laughed at the newcomer SpaceX when they started challenging them. The laughing stopped when SpaceX started winning contracts from NASA. Now both companies are doing battle to see who will be the first one to return astronauts to space and beyond.
Follow Jeff Sorensen on TWITTER
Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post,UPROXX,BGR and by just looking up his name.