News Shorts

NASA Challenges SpaceX Design

According to a front-page piece in Sunday’s Washington Post, NASA officials and Members of Congress are questioning an innovation developed for fueling the Falcon 9, the rocket which is supposed to enable the United States to return to US-launched manned space flight.

Sunday’s article,  Elon Musk’s SpaceX is using a powerful rocket technology. NASA advisers say it could put lives at risk.”, details the concerns of these officials.

SpaceX Falcon 9 explodes on September 1, 2016 (YouTube Screen shot)

SpaceX Falcon 9 explodes on September 1, 2016 (YouTube Screen shot)

In the background, however, is the entire wisdom of privatizing the space program, which is otherwise under attack due to ongoing budget cuts, as recently detailed on this blog.

Ironically, Sunday’s Washington Post details another type of explosion linked to SpaceX as well.

On Wednesday, the company’s founder and CEO, the theatrical Elon Musk, erupted during a “quarterly earnings conference call”, in response to a question about capital expenditures.  “..Next. Boring bonehead questions are not cool.”, he reportedly said, as he cut off the speaker.

Well, Mr. Musk, we think that when it comes to the safety of US astronauts, safe (and therefore boring) is good.



  1. Well, its possible that the design is dangerous. But the NASA vs SpaceX footing may also be an ill-designed argument as well. It is true that NASA rejected this design in the past, however, unlike Musk’s solar panels tech vs “traditional” solar panels, there has been progress in design that has lead to genuine improvement. The problem is more that were NASA to have had the $1trillion budget that it had in its 1st 50 years of existence (total), NOW in a shorter time interval, then NASA may have been able to either master the concept, or provide a valid alternative. Neither has been the case due to the anti-American economic policies of the last 40-50 years. While a privatized space program should not be the sole option in America, and having a true “American” national space program would be best, there is still value to what Space X is doing.

    • americansystemnow says:

      Private companies have always played a role in the space program, even during its heyday.
      But the role of government is essential, particularly in the type of fully-funded mission orientation that you cite.