Translunar Injection

When Apollo 1 caught fire on the launchpad and three astronauts died, there was grief. These were national heroes, risking their lives in pursuit of breakthrough explorations and geopolitical battle.

When SpaceX almost inevitably kills two private space tourists on an over-accelerated full-up launch schedule to send them around the moon like Apollo 8 in 1968, people will just laugh, because those guys were billionaires on a joy ride and nobody’s heroes.

Also, SpaceX have yet to service NASA’s contract with them to ferry live humans to the ISS. Because the reality of private spaceflight is always going to be that new money is sexier than old deals. So, you know, enjoy the fun press releases, but don’t wait around for anything else – especially not what amounts to a period re-enactment.

READING: THE ENDS OF THE WORLD, Danowski et al (UK) (US)