Sunday, August 3, 2008

Celestis Remains Lost, SpaceX Now 0 for 3

The New York Times reported on SpaceX's latest rocket failure, their third in a row. This launch went smoothly, until the second stage fired with the first section still intact. Lost were three satellites and the remains of 208 people, including "Scotty" from Star Trek, James Doohan. Family members hoped for a unique final resting place, weightless space with an incredible worldview. That alas, didn't happen.

But SpaceX did get a significant investment allowing it to continue launching Falcon 1's, as cited in the CEO's update. Elon said, "There should be absolutely zero question that SpaceX will prevail in reaching orbit and demonstrating reliable space transport." While that may be true, I venture the families of the 208 celestial passengers are questioning the final flight of their loved ones' remains.

SpaceX is slated to take over cargo hauling for NASA once the Space Shuttle program ceases. Let's hope they send one into successful orbit, confirming the public-private partnership. Celestis doesn't need any more truly unforgettable memorial events.