Yesterday NASA launched the Ares 1X test rocket, with spectacular results. As I saw it on the launch pad with the Space Shuttle on NASA’s other launch pad I was reminded of the old NASA quote that goes back to the Mercury Missions, “You’re Number One on the Runway”.
At the time that quote was a joke as obviously there were no other spacecraft ahead of them waiting to take-off.
It’s not so much of a joke anymore with two Spacecraft waiting to take-off (even if the launches are weeks apart).
With the Ares 1X successful test, and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket moving along, in a few years we could see Cape Kennedy nearly always having two rockets waiting to launch, opening up great opportunities for the human presence in Low Earth Orbit.
Space Station Missions will become much simpler when they know the next flight is only days away instead of the current system of having to plan everything with the expectation that if something goes wrong the next flight might be months away.
If the Ares 1 and the Falcon 9 turn out to be even as reliable as the Space Shuttle, not a hard goal, America can start making real plans to use space.
By having 2 separate craft doing missions to space, the odds of continuous missions are exponentially improved. If they both had a 1 in 10 chance of a mission scrub that took them out of commission for months that would mean a 1 in 100 chance of something taking both of them out of the picture. (Not to mention the Russians and Chinese launches.)
Those are odds that make working in Low Earth Orbit practical.
I can’t wait until Mission Control has to seriously say to a crew on a manned flight, “You’re number two on the launch pad.”
To those people that are against having NASA go forward with building new spacecraft, I am reminded of the words of John F. Kennedy:
“the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward, and so will space.”
I am slowly combining my two personalities Project Savior, known on the internet for writing comments and posts and Darrell B. Nelson the semi-professional author who has had his work published in Ray Gun Revival, Distant Worlds, AlienSkin Magazine, Bewildering Stories, Cynic Magazine and the author of the collection of short stories “I Killed the Man That Wasn't There”.
Feel free to laugh with me, or at me, as I merge these two personalities in a whole being. Feel free to email me at project.savior (at) yahoo (period) com.