As our listeners know, Doctor Geek’s Laboratory are big supporters of the privatization of space. We are confident that commercial enterprises, working with NASA, will bring us closer to being a space faring civilization. A lot of positive actions have been taken lately that make that goal seem ever so likely. Unfortunately this week has marked not one but two setbacks for the commercial space program.
First, Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Antares rocket and unmanned Cygnus cargo spacecraft, which was carrying roughly 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station, exploded about six seconds after launch. Second, One test pilot died and another was injured when Virgin Galatic’s SpaceShipTwo was lost.Details are still coming in as to what exactly happened in each instance. At present, Virgin has stated that the “vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of SpaceShipTwo”.
While we here at Doctor Geek’s Laboratory take a moment to honor the life lost, we are reminded that spaceflight is an ultrahazardous activity, that all the pioneers of private space flight take countless risks in trying to expand man’s reach in this universe. We salute them all and understand risk is their business.