By JULIE LAFRANZO
“SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk and historically all space exploration has been
Bishop discussed the business side of SpaceX and explained the reason behind Dragon Mission. The Dragon Mission was a partnership with NASA and SpaceX to get a spacecraft to the International Space Station that could carry a lot of people and cargo. This comes from the SpaceX official website as their goal of the mission. The spacecraft was launched on March 2, 2019 at 2:29 a.m., said SpaceX’s website, and it arrived and automatically attached itself on March 3, 2019 at 6:02 a.m. This was a very important mission as it made it so that the US could travel to space without the aid of the Russian space program and it is thanks to SpaceX and their flexibility that this was possible.
“Private investors, private businesses have that ability to be able to focus just on that,” Bishop said. This means, not that SpaceX is better than NASA, but because they have that “ability to focus,” it makes them be able to do more than NASA does. Bishop continues: “with government, there’s more bureaucracy, there’s more politics and that tends to impede creativity and innovation. SpaceX has seldom funding but their ability to do one launch and then the next launch and the timing to be able to do those in close proximity to each other. They can have a much shorter time window to get from one thing to the next whereas usually the timing in a government project is much longer.”
“How it directly impacts astronomy is another can of worms,” said Dr. Charles Nelson, professor of physics and astronomy here at Drake. “Non-occupied robotic mission, Hubble Space Telescope and the landers on Mars, the pure science stuff. It’s better if there aren’t humans in space to do it. Maybe there’s a way once we get more humans to space and that becomes a less dangerous thing to do, than they can be a little bit freer to do things. The scientifically best missions have always been the robotic ones.” However, Nelson goes on to cite the importance of astronauts.
“What saved the Hubble Space telescope? Well, the astronauts. That thing would’ve been dead in the water if astronauts could not have gone up there and swap out the old instruments and put new ones in. They did that what? Four times? The initial one, recall, that the optics were out of focus. Those astronauts heroically went up there and saved the thing.”
SpaceX’s Dragon Spacecraft is providing new ways to “save the thing.” It will help with a lot of missions and things that want to be done in space. This is the next step in space exploration. Starting unoccupied and moving on to human occupied shuttles that will change the way we see the universe forever.
“Space exploration is the future,” Bishop said.