On January 19, SpaceX and NASA conducted a launch of the Crew Dragon, which will one day ferry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), to demonstrate its lift-off capabilities. The mission was a resounding success, with NASA chief Jim Bridenstine stating he was “thrilled” with the outcome.
SpaceX boss Elon Musk added it was a “picture perfect” mission, saying it “went as well as one can possibly expect”.
Now, SpaceX, NASA and Boeing, another of the space agency’s clients helping to get astronauts to the ISS and competing with Mr Musk’s firm, have become embroiled in a Twitter love-in as they all take turns to praise one another.
Following the success of the launch, Boeing sent out a tweet to its 58,800 followers, stating: “Congratulations, @SpaceX team! @Commercial_Crew is that much closer to returning crew launch capabilities to the US in support of our @NASA customer.”
Mr Bridenstine appreciated the camaraderie between NASA’s two clients, responding to the Boeing tweet saying: “This is the America I know and love! Great competitors congratulating each other.”
Many fans were also thrilled with the love-in, with one appreciating the stark differences with the space race of the 1960s at the height of the Cold War between the US and Russia.
David Willis said on Twitter: “A space race where the two sides congratulate each other instead of threatening to nuke each other. A lot better than the 60s!”
Another said this sort of competition will help the US re-establish itself as the dominant force in the space race.
Brett Messinger said on Twitter: “Space launches are very good money and I am sure if one or the other could win out they would try too.
“Competing is good and strong competition is better so glad we have the best in the world. China may have pulled ahead but we will catch up soon.”
However, it has not always been so peaceful between NASA and its clients.
In October last year, Mr Bridenstine attacked Mr Musk over the SpaceX chief’s inability to meet his deadline to the US space agency.
Back in 2014, SpaceX was awarded a multi-billion dollar contract by NASA to build a spacecraft which would take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
SpaceX, which was awarded the contract alongside Boeing, was meant to be ferrying ISS crew by now, but several delays have set SpaceX back.
As a result, NASA has continued to rely on Russia’s Soyuz rocket to take American astronauts to the ISS.
NASA was unhappy Mr Musk and SpaceX unveiled the Starship rocket, while promises have been unfulfilled with the space agency.
NASA news: Hubble spots galaxy from 200 million light-years away
SpaceX latest: NASA thrilled with Dragon test after rocket explodes
NASA tracks an asteroid heading past Earth tomorrow at 37,000MPH
Mr Bridenstine tweeted: “Commercial Crew is years behind schedule.
“NASA expects to see the same level of enthusiasm focused on the investments of the American taxpayer. It’s time to deliver.”
However, Mr Musk hit back at Mr Bridenstine, claiming the delays reflect the industry as a whole.
The South African-born billionaire told CNN: “Everything in aerospace is eight years behind.
“Most of the work that is required from now through flight of NASA astronauts is a long series of safety reviews, so it’s not really hardware related, and it’s really going as fast as we can go.
“If there’s some way to make it go faster, I would make it go faster.”
Source: Read Full Article