I don’t usually write about space travel / satellites and such but this is a momentus occassion. The first commercial resupply flight has docked with the International Space Station. The Falcon 9 SpaceX (Space eXploration Technologies) rocket and Dragon capsule blasted off for it’s rendezvous with the ISS on the 8th of October.
Why is it such a big deal? It’s a departure from the norm and represents the first time a commercial organisation has been contracted to supply, well any major installation. In addition the Dragon is designed to be a reusable vehicle – sending cargo to orbit and returning to the Earth intact.
And this is just the first step. SpaceX also has a contract to upgrade their Dragon capsule to carry personnel so it’s looking like commercial manned flights may also be ferrying personnel some time soon. It’s only a matter of time. No longer will this be limited to the usual agencies budgeted by government and with the grounding of the Space Shuttle program it’s very welcome indeed.
A win for innovation and hopefully a win for lower costs in the future.