Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Reminiscent of the U.S./U.S.S.R Moon Race:The New Space Race Is On!

I grew up during the space race of the '60s it was all over the news and on the lips of everyone. I watched the lunar landing with my father. I remember how proud and patriotic he was as he proclaimed, 'We won!'
I didn't understand the politics of it all but I was definitely caught up in the awe and excitement.
Today I think back fondly of how everyone beamed with accomplishment; we put a man on the moon!
This phenomenal accomplishment, this 'giant leap' it is one of the reasons I'm proud to be an American.Not to mention the race was a viable alternative to nuclear exchange between the two super powers of the day. The cold war was tempered by the race for the moon.
A wise move by our world leaders at the time.
This time it is not political; this time it's a competition between to private companies.They are both trying to be the first to complete a manned mission to the ISS.
NASA has granted two companies in the United States with multi billion-dollar contracts to supply the orbiting ISS with cargo since the retirement of the space shuttle fleet. The two companies are Orbital and SpaceX. We have heard a lot more about SpaceX in the recent months while hearing relatively little from Orbital.
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SpaceX has already test fired its Falcon 9 rocket and its Dragon capsule has already been in orbit. Meanwhile, Orbital has yet to test fire its rocket and its own Cygnus capsule remains untested. Orbital is looking to move faster with a static launch test and the first launch into orbit for its capsule scheduled for this summer. The company is also looking forward to a possible mission to the ISS this fall.

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