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Nasa's Dragging Their Wheel

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Originally posted by David from Truth, Justice, and the American Way,

NASA's top story is that the Mars Rover Spirit has lost a wheel. The Mars Rover mission has been a phenomental success -- lasting 2 years beyond the original 90 day mission goal.

I’m happy for the success of the rovers, but I think it is pathetic that NASA’s resources are so badly managed that a two-year old mission is still their showcase effort. We should be hearing about many new projects, not breakdowns on old ones. If political maneuvering didn’t keep wasting billions on the space shuttle and the ISS (which were created because they were politically appealing) we might have dozens of missions going right now. Better yet, if they let entrepreneurs keep their money instead of taxing us to death, we might all be buying tickets to space.

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Keep searching the news for SpaceX and Falcon 1. The first 100% privately funded space launcher is due to take off within a week or so, barring further delays by technical problems.

Even better, SpaceX recently announced it has been developing a manned capsule, named Dragon, to ride atop its follow-on rocket, the Falcon 9. The Dragon is being shopped to NASA for ferrying crews and supplies to the ISS. But SpaceX's founder, Elon Musk, says he will finish developing the capsule, and fly it, with our without NASA.

One obvious customer is Bigelow Aerospace, which is developing inflatable, habitable modules for space tourism. They are a SpaceX customer, too.

We're getting there.

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