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+ - Congress Reacts To Successful Falcon 9 Launch-> 2

Submitted by FleaPlus
FleaPlus (6935) writes "The successful inaugural launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9, privately developed and built at a cost of less than $400M (including another Falcon 9 to be launched this summer and five earlier Falcon 1 rockets), has been hailed by a number of space organizations and former astronauts. However, it's also quite interesting to look at the reactions from those in Congress who control the purse-strings for NASA (one of SpaceX's biggest customers). The successful launch was congratulated by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL and former astronaut) and Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL), both praised and criticized by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) due to the successful launch being a year later than previously predicted, and blasted by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) for merely replicating what 'NASA accomplished in 1964,' who added that the company's success 'must not be confused with progress for our nation's human spaceflight program.'"
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Congress Reacts To Successful Falcon 9 Launch

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  • While you can't deny this is an accomplishment, you also cannot deny the fact that this was accomplished nearly 50 years ago with slide rulers.

    I think what it illustrates mostly is the foolishness of the early seventies Congress that killed the Apollo program and subsequent decisions that resulted in the loss of the technology and knowledge of the Apollo launch vehicle.

    Hopefully, what was learned during the Space Shuttle program will not also be left to evaporate, if it has not already happened.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Urkki (668283)

      While you can't deny this is an accomplishment, you also cannot deny the fact that this was accomplished nearly 50 years ago with slide rulers.

      50 years ago the accomplishment used an untold (well, ok, I'm sure it's been calculated, but anyway) number of man years, especially including the education effort needed to produce the engineering workforce capable of pulling it off with slide rulers.

      50 years ago it was also done taking risks unthinkable today.

      And for the record, I think the current risk tolerance of space exploration is ridiculous, at least for the US, considering US (like I think every other nation with serious space capability, they're

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