Yesterday, an unmanned RussianProgress M-28M cargo ship successfully docked at the International Space Station and delivered 2.5 metric tons of fuel, oxygen, water, food and other supplies to the crew. This successful launch and delivery came less than a week after a U.S. cargo rocket exploded after launch.
What's the difference here? The American Falcon 9 rocket was built and launched by a private corporation on behalf on NASA. SpaceX, founded by American billionaire Elon Musk, has convinced Congress that privately operated space flight can save the country money and that both NASA and the Air Force should trust a private company to administrate programs that involve national security.
Russia's space program is still run by the government.
SpaceX's explosion comes less than a month after Bill Murray played a corrupt tech billionaire who was trying to subvert the space program for his own purposes in Aloha.
Here's the question: is space exploration too important for our future to farm out to private companies? Should NASA and the military be in charge of our space programs or should we offload the financial and personal risks to private citizens?