Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Space exploration - Off topic - but exciting:

Having worked as a scientist at the Indian Space Research Organization for about four years, I know a little bit about the difficulty when it comes to launching satellites into space (let alone get a rocket to fly properly). It is with a mixture of trepidation and awe that I now follow the adventures of a rocket launching company SpaceX (a small one founded by the previous owner of Internet startup Paypal) in putting their rockets into space. Yesterday one of their rockets lifted off from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean’s Marshall Islands and fell a bit short of its mission when the launch had to be aborted about 186 miles above the earth...

"The second test launch of Falcon 1 took place today at 6:10 pm California time. The launch was not perfect, but certainly pretty good. Given that the primary objectives were demonstrating responsive launch and gathering test data in advance of our first operational satellite launch later this year, the outcome was great. Operationally responsive (ie fast) launch has become an increasingly important national security objective, so demonstrating rapid loading of propellants and launch in less than an hour, as well as a rapid recycle following the first engine ignition are major accomplishments."

It is nevertheless a story of great courage and foresight that the founders of this company display everyday. Read more about their travails and future travels here. I am sure our children will live in a world where spaceflight will be akin to taking a transatlantic flight, but I hope fledging steps like the ones above will be remembered…

1 comment:

Angela said...

I love pictures of outerspace. They are sooo beautiful! Make's me wonder what all is out there. Beautiful!!!