Since retiring the last Space Shuttle (Atlantis) in July 2011, the United States has lacked the capacity for manned space flight. That’s something it’s had since 1962 — so it’s a tad embarrassing.
With the U.S. struggling to adapt to changing economic realities in the world, and NASA chronically underfunded and in long-term decline, the private-sector has stepped into the breach. On Saturday, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (or SpaceX) was supposed launch an unmanned capsule called Dragon (pictured) into orbit to rendez-vous with the International Space Station.
SpaceX got within 0.5 seconds of launching at Cape Canaveral, then something went wrong and a valve shut down, scrubbing the launch. The company is dealing with tight launch windows, and the next attempt to boldly go where no corporation has gone before will be on Tuesday at 2:44 a.m. Regina time.