Sunday, May 27, 2012

Checking In

Friend Wayne gently reminded me that it was probably time for a blog post, and he is right - I missed posting about the inaugural launch of Dragon and nearly missed paying tribute to Memorial Day.  And my last post (October! - where does the time go?) invited you to come to Florida to escape the winter weather.  Well, we had a particularly hot "winter" this year, skipped spring and jumped right into summer, and are currently on the southern edge of a tropical storm.  So ...

Last Tuesday, SpaceX, a private company, launched a spaceship named Dragon to the International Space Station that successfully docked there, becoming the first non-government ship to do so.  It is indeed a paradigm shift.  This was not just to see if it could be done - at stake is a billion dollar contract to ferry supplies to the Space Station.  John Kelley, Space writer for local newspaper Florida Today, noted:  The old way of developing space vehicles is dead. With fewer people, less time and a fraction of the money that the government would have spent, Elon Musk and his company, Space Exploration Technologies, designed and built a new spaceship, launched it on the company’s own Falcon 9 rocket and flew the craft to the International Space Station. Dragon’s arrival at the orbiting lab on Friday was not only historic, but also game-changing.

The photo (courtesy of NASA) shows Dragon as it nears capture by the ISS robotic arm. 

 Most of the residents in my little development fly the American flag on a daily basis.  Tomorrow, we will remember the men and women who died serving in the United States Armed Forces. Accordingly, the flag should be flown at half staff until noon.  At noon, it is to be raised to full staff to demonstrate that their sacrifice was not in vain.