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EDITORIAL: Impressions of a rocket launch

  • Magazine Article
  • 20AUTP06_05
Published June 01, 2020 by SAE International in United States
Language:
  • English
Affiliated:

For a brief but illuminating moment, advanced engineering at its finest was on the world stage. The May 30, 2020, launch from Cape Canaveral of two American astronauts, destined for the orbiting International Space Station (ISS), marked the first time since 2011 that the U.S. put humans into space from home soil.

The reawakening of the U.S. space program is invigorating to those who understand the value of technical achievement on a grand scale-and who simply love seeing giant rockets blast off into the sky. And its joint public-private partnership of NASA and SpaceX is historic. The iconic government agency provided funding, its hallmark safety oversight and crew for the recent Demo-2 spaceflight. SpaceX, founded in 2002 by a pre-Tesla Elon Musk, supplied the mission's Crew Dragon capsule and reusable Falcon-9 rocket.