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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Elon Musk of SpaceX on CBS's 60 Minutes

By Phil Plait

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, was interviewed on "60 Minutes". It's an interesting look inside the company and how Musk wants to build America's go-to rocket:

I think SpaceX has what it takes to go the whole way. The reporter points out that the first three launches of the Falcon 1 didn't achieve orbit, but if you look back to the beginning of the Space Era, failures were a lot more catastrophic. A lot has been learned since then.

I've made this point many, many times. NASA's job is to innovate, to explore, and to pave the way. Once that pathway is clear, let smaller, more flexible companies like SpaceX then build the rockets and other hardware needed to maintain that path. It doesn't have to be SpaceX -- there are other companies looking to build rockets capable of getting into orbit -- I just think they are best-positioned for this. And in this case, I think competition isn't such a bad thing. It'll lead to better rockets, less expensive access to space, and -- and this is something I honestly believe, backed by copious evidence -- a better future for everyone.

[UPDATE: Oh, fer Pete's sake, I forgot to add that the next flight of the Falcon 9 carrying the Dragon capsule to the International Space Station is now scheduled for April 30 at 12:22 p.m. EDT. I'll have more on that soon.]

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