Shared publicly  - 
 
Whenever we (being humanity) put people into space, I get something in both of my eyes.

Congratulations to everyone at #SpaceX for a successful #DragonLaunch, and thank you for inspiring me.
1138
62
Tom Rupp's profile photoMichael Mifsud's profile photoChadi Wehbe's profile photoMichael Jenkins's profile photo
97 comments
 
Stuck at work and was unable to watch but the pictures I have seen look awesome.
 
It seems to be infectious; I've got something in my eyes as well.
 
A certain refrain is coming to mind. Something about "To boldly go..." etc.
 
Next stop: Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards
 
I'm so excited the launch worked out. It's the first one I've actually watched live. Super cool.
Em Snow
+
2
3
2
 
It's also great to see so many people still interested in watching rocket launches and other space-related things.
 
Hopefully this will be the beginning of space tourism as now businesses and not just governments can get into space.
 
This was such an exciting thing!
 
What gets in the eyes, fuel dust?.
 
Go Flight!! Congratulations SpaceX. Elon you and your team are Genius...
 
it works better with no government things would say Ron Paul
 
This is a good first step, but lets not count our chickens yet
 
Not to belittle the achievement, but this is an unmanned flight (with regards to Wil's "put people into space").

Be that as it may, I'm keeping my fingers crossed privatized space flight is just the injection of fresh energy required to bring up the tempo on space exploration and colonization. This mission continuing without a hitch, would be a big step forward.
 
So when does the Earth Federation get founded so we can change our calendars from Anno Domini to Universal Century already? I want to get started on becoming a Newtype.

Oh, wait...Space colonies, Laplace's Box, and Zeon fanatics. Right. =(
 
As someone who is wearing a Star Trek uniform in his profile picture, I am so ready for us to get into space more often.
 
agreed Will, so I take it you watched the live feed?
 
I hope the Vulcans are nearby.
 
Yet, SpaceX Dragon is still just orbital.
 
+Henk Poley Orbital is pretty good for private space flight. Virgin Galactic and that Danish guy (Madsen?) are doing/aiming at suborbital. Once you get to orbital, the next step gets a lot easier. From there, light ion drives can get you anywhere.
 
So proud of my friends at Space X. I wish them the best of luck with the docking. 
 
Definitely a monumental occasion. Half a tonne of payload is pretty impressive.
 
Sail on, #SpaceX , sail on. May the wind be at your backs...
 
The roar of the employees at the Hawthorne facility as the solar array deployed... I believe this fits just as well as it did before. "A giant leap for mankind."
 
+Chad Cole I didn't even know about #SpaceX a week ago, and when I heard the roar from the crowd when the solar arrays deployed, I couldn't help a rush of emotion running through me.
 
So good. If I could jump ahead 100 years to see where this leads us, I'd do it in a second.
 
I remember that our teacher in 1961 brought in a radio so we could listen to Alan Shepherds first flight into space. We all sat there in rapt silence to this historic flight. The whole country was behind space exploration at that time and it was regarded as a great step forward. I remember all the later flights and the moon landings. We were all united in the push into space and it was a matter of great pride that the United States lead the way in this. Exciting.
 
me too and goosebumps. It's astounding, touching, and incredibly awe inspiring. I wish we would do more stuff like this and less fighting being mean stuff.
 
I respect the achievement, especially for a commercial company... but humanity has done this already. We've been doing this for 50 years. Its time for an orbital or lunar colony... and i'm not talking ISS; I'm talking with habitats for families and tourists. Barring that, its time to stop the talk and go to mars! I know these feats arent easy but if JFK could inspire us to go from ground to moon in about a decade, the fact we've done comparably little else in 5 times that span is depressing. I too have something in my eye and its sadness we're not further along.
 
I think @elonmusk tweeted it best: Dragon spaceship opens the navigation pod bay door without hesitation. So much nicer than HAL9000 :)
 
I wish I could have gotten up in time to watch it. Ever since I was a kid, I have watched NASA shoot off the Space Shuttles from my front lawn. Would have been cool to have seen the brave new steps toward the future with my own eyes.
 
+Dave Lockwood I missed the launch also. So I just opened up the webcast and rewound it a few hours and pretended it was live.
 
I hope it spurs a whole new US based industry.
 
I'm glad that launches have really started going the way of organizations like #SpaceX - I just wish it hadn't taken this long to get there. NASA needs to utilize these privateer businesses with the task of taking stuff into orbit (as they can do it cheaper, and even more so over time), so that NASA itself can then focus on expanding our frontier into space. Bigger station for launches in orbit, going back to the moon, going to Mars, and beyond!
 
+justin gann I'm afraid NASA is more committed to Earth / Environmental studies right now while the privateers are more interested in mining operations. It saddens me that the emphasis on Exploration (caps intentional) seems to be waning. 
 
And rest in peace, James Doohan, whose ashes were on board!
 
+Will Leamon Unfortunately, it does seem that way. But I will hold on to my hope for space exploration.
 
Careful there! Leaky valves have been known to cause aborted takeoffs! ;)
Mike D
+
1
2
1
 
that is called pink eye. stop letting people fart on your pillow
 
Well stop putting your fingers in your eyes.... :-)
 
You go to comic and scifi cons, wash your hands before touching your eyes!
But I agree, Any space launch chokes me up.
Mike D
+
2
3
2
 
My dream is to be the first nevernude in space
 
Clearly as a real man I don't cry, but boy ever since I've had kids I'm always getting stuff in both my eyes like that.
 
I was still very young when the Challenger went down, but I still remember it. The first time I saw the Challenger memorial at Arlington, I burst into tears in a way I don't remember crying before. I'm a proud and dedicated devotee to manned space exploration, and the Dragon is one step closer to ensuring that dream comes true for more of us.
 
We are still going to have to rely on Russia for 3 to 5 years for carrying astronauts to ISS. Should not be like that.
 
As long as it's not the smoke from the solid rocket boosters, you're good. =^_^=
 
Space exploration should be a worldwide cooperation, maybe then the US could concentrate on things that are currently causing problems like child hunger and poor education.
 
+Tobia Kazmer Let me fix that for you: "Space exploration should be worldwide *competition*". The reason SpaceX is able to launch so cheaply and effectively (remember how many rockets NASA blew up?) is because they're coming at the entire field with a private industry, capitalist competitive mindset. And since they're pretty much only competing against monolithic governments, the competitive bar is set pretty low. The best way to open up space is to see as many companies as possible all making as many launches as possible, until getting to space is as standard as flying the local commuter shuttle.
 
Will Wil Wheaton be in space someday?
 
+Ian Nowland I completely agree that once a 'market' is opened up for competition between companies then the consumer gets the best deal. Soon enough we'll see budget flights, provided enough companies join the race and compete to provide the best, cheapest service. A similar industry to draw comparisons would be the commercial airlines, like you say, which have successfully given affordable flights to the world. Here's hoping more companies join the fray.
 
Apart from charging those people with lots of money a small fortune to take the into space (or at the very least a low orbit) what is the overall purpose of this? (Just asking btw I would love to go into space)
 
Space is worth billions of dollars just for the communications and observation data alone. And the Planetary Resources people are looking to asteroids because, after iron, platinum is one of the most common elements in asteroids. There's also a huge market for protein crystals for helping make medicine. Protein crystals can be grown and analyzed much easier in zero gravity.

So yeah, there's money to be made. Governments just haven't been interested in making money.
 
Is someone cutting onions around here. We need more space exploration. Only through gazing into the heavens will we find our salvation.
 
+Ian Nowland I agree that space is worth billions in communication, but I disagree that its important to anyone not making that money, and although space is interesting to me, people are more interesting and more deserving of time, money, and energy.
 
Happiest part? They laid James Doohan (Scotty) to rest while they are up there. Truly this is the next big leap in space travel.
 
+Tobia Kazmer I truly want to travel in space myself someday, and having a thriving space industry is the best way for that to be possible. So having economic interest is the best way to get funding to actually get that industry going. Also, if there's a booming space industry, even if individuals aren't personally invested in the space companies, that's still a lot of economic activity, which feeds back into the rest of society in all sorts of beneficial ways. More jobs, more income, cheaper goods, all that great stuff.
 
Man this made my brain go all happy pants.
 
Is it just me, or does anyone else think of the Terran Empire when the ISS is mentioned?
 
And just think how much longer it would have taken us without NASA.
 
+Ian Nowland I respectfully disagree. Full-on capitalism of the scale necessary to manage technological problems the size of even local space exploration is not known for its ability to do things safely and repeatably without failing. This is due to an excessive focus on profit and cost control. Because of pressures in those directions, and management failures of the type where management overrides the concerns of engineers and scientists, people have died in catastrophic circumstances three times during the American space program. (I am not including numerous deaths during flight training.)

The NASA program has not been a purely "government" program like the Soviet space program was; there has been constant and ongoing participation by civilian entities, whose

The crew of the Apollo 1 spacecraft died in their incomplete spacecraft during a training session, when their pure-oxygen environment was triggered to flash-fire by an electrical fault that sparked. The pure-oxygen environment was heavily debated but was pushed through because of cost factors. The crew objected strenuously to the excessive amount of flammable material that was present in the capsule (in part because the technical crew working the simulator was unable to keep up with the obnoxiously high rate of change orders.)
This is symptomatic of a program being pushed out before ready for political reasons, which is an identical process (and generally, more severe) in a profit-driven organization which has to deliver on a schedule.

The Challenger crew died because management overrode technical concerns about the thermal expansion qualities of an O-Ring that was chosen for primarily cost-driven reasons. The civilian corporation that provided that O-Ring had given specific temperature ranges, and their engineers were concerned about the use NASA was making, but was overridden by their management. When their concerns were pushed to NASA, the management there, concerned about the impact to their program of yet further delays when dealing with an anti-Space movement in Congress, ignored the warning.
Note that this was not the first time the O-Rings failed, and the management had "normalized" this unsafe deviance from the required performance. As you know, the presence and persistence of safety and health regulations and their investigators is considered an unnecessary negative cost by most corporations, who constantly lobby to have OSHA funding restricted (and quite successfully, as well.)

The Columbia crew died because management had downplayed the danger to the craft from the flying debris that damaged the insulation over the left wing, resulting in thermal damage to the wing during re-entry.
The debris was an unusually large piece of foam (hardened foamed plastic weighing several pounds, and was seen in the recordings of the launch, so they knew it had happened and there was some concern about whether it was NASA rejected the opportunity to have the DOD cameras image the wing (three times) even though the DOD specifically asked to do so; they had the capability, obviously. The reason they did so was, according to records, based on a spreadsheet tool that measured damage risk from ice impacts. NO testing had been done to validate the damage from foam impacts. Ice impact models predicted approximately what was shown to have happened.
In a group-think failure, both management and engineering managed to conclude that their tool wasn't accurate for foam, so there was no risk so no imaging was needed.
As with the O-Ring failure, the fact of repeated foam strikes having NOT caused problems, caused this deviation from standard safety considerations to be 'normalized' - situation normal, why worry?
The disregard for the risk of wing damage also meant that they did not take a space walk to see whether the thing needed fixing.

So, in conclusion: the combination of governmental and civilian agencies, operating under capitalist principles, did not prevent catastrophic failure. Capitalism alone uses cost-accounting to determine whether the lives lost are "worth the expense" when the final profits are considered. Ergo, there is no reason to think that capitalism would be in any reasonable way superior to what we've had.

What the Falcon 9/Dragon launch proves is not that capitalism is innately better - considering they had the advantage of all the previous space science, which was definitely government-sponsored - but rather, that NASA and our government have become so very very conservative (and so dominated by anti-science, anti-Space, and anti-innovation thinking) that they have lost sight of the very real benefits of going into space. And as a government agency it has always been considered beneficial to control access to space, which is where the real problem lies.
 
One of my friends works at SpaceX, and he seemed ecstatic that they launched into the space. He bouncily told me that he actually got to shake Elon Musk's, his boss, hand, for a job well done. I look forward to when there's more space travel and perhaps the chance for normal (albeit with a fat wallet) people can travel up there for long vacations!
 
yep me too. we must be in space to survive as a species. the fact that falcon 9 carried jimmy doohan's ashes made me tear up a bit more than usual
 
This is totally awesome. Hope everything goes well with the docking procedure too. Go #SpaceX
 
thanks to the internet, i spewed dr pepper when i got to 'docking procedure.'

the internet has ruined me. RUINED.
 
if you have to ask, you're far better off never knowing.
 
i want mine turned into a diamond bullet then fired at the moon out of an enormous cannon.
 
While I applaud the entepreneurial spirit of #SpaceX with the success of #DragonLaunch I have reservations if safety relies on the abilities of the contractor with the lowest bid.
 
I am reminded of Heinlein's "The Man Who Sold the Moon", but with Elon Musk in the Delos D. Harriman role.
 
Every time I pass the shuttle at the Space and Rocket Center I get a little teary too. It's amazing what has been accomplished and I'm excited to see what's to come.
 
Visiting KSC for the first time with kids, it struck me -- hard -- how much of the experience was nostalgia. Heavily ironic that it should be so when the topic is space exploration.
 
So +Wil Wheaton, what was in your eyes? Fingers, dust, or nostalgia for the crew of a certain ship called ...
#Enterprise ?
 
Way to go #SpaceX ! BTW +Wil Wheaton, #BigBangTheory episode with Howard's stag night just aired in the UK. I laughed where +Jim Parsons says to you "You're friends with everybody!!". Judging from your comment and circle numbers, I think he's right! I hope your new phone causes less trouble than in that episode! :-)
 
It is positively brilliant what we are capable of. Of course, we  have no where near exhausted the possibilities, nor are we moving at the maximum scientific speed, but it is miraculous, nonetheless.
 
I guess your question has been sufficiently answered already, so I can go a bit astray: There this post about the "automated brewery controller" on Hackaday. Chances are none of us will built anything like that any time soon. Still I think it's just awesome and worth a peek: http://hackaday.com/2012/04/19/automated-beer-brewing/
 
hey +Wil Wheaton , if you act now, you can be the 100th person to sign and share this petition, urging the President and Congress to fund NASA, to equip and fly the two Hubble-class telescopes which were donated to NASA a few days ago, by the NRO.

These two telescopes are apparently identical, which should make it possible to instrument them identically, fly them at the same time, and make an interferometry instrument out of them.  The potential science would be really amazing.

Fund NASA to Fly the NRO Telescopes
https://www.change.org/petitions/fund-nasa-to-fly-the-nro-telescopes

Space Interferometry Mission (a 1997 study)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Interferometry_Mission

Please share with your fans, if you like the idea.
Add a comment...