Harder To Kill Than a Vampire

At least with a vampire, all you need to do is wait for it to enter its’ coffin and drive a wooden stake through its’ heart. But how do you kill a bloated and entrenched federal agency?


On Saturday afternoon, SpaceX successfully recovered a Dragon capsule that had returned from a cargo delivery to the International Space Station. The Dragon has so far been used mostly for those cargo runs, but it was also designed to carry crew — and NASA announced last week that it expects SpaceX to conduct a crewed test flight by the end of the year.

SpaceX’s crewed test flight is slated for December, after an uncrewed flight in August. will also be demonstrating its CST-100 Starliner capsule, with a crewed flight in November following an uncrewed flight in August.

Um, am I the only one to notice the obvious solution here? Think on that a moment as you read further:

NASA’s goal is to launch crews to the ISS from U.S. soil, a task that has fallen to Russia’s space program since the retirement of the U.S. Space Shuttle program in 2011. NASA began looking for private launch companies to take over starting in 2010, and contracted both SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 to pursue crewed launches. The push to restore America’s crewed spaceflight capacity has been delayed in part, according to a detailed survey by Ars Technica, by Congress redirecting funds in subsequent years.

Ah, I see. We have two issues here, and unsurprisingly Congress is one of them.

Have you also stumbled onto the clear answer here? The cutting-out-the-middleman one? I mean, if SpaceX is doing the job, what earthly (SWIDT?) use is NA$A?

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