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Congratulation to SpaceX.

That being said, we should take a step back and stop drinking the Elon Musk Koolaid. This has been done flawlessly by Russian Soyouz hundreds of times over the last decades (with almost no failures). This has also been done with the Shuttle.

I think you are underappreciating this in a big way.

Prior to this, the USA did not have the capability to transport astronauts to orbit without working with Russia, and if Russia were to just decide no longer to cooperate for arbitrary diplomatic reasons, we'd be screwed. As you know, the shuttle program was halted some time ago and the vehicle was a total cow the whole time it was in service.

So whereas this has been done before on a technical level, this represents a substantial increase in the USA's actual present space capability, and a major step in reversing the decline of the USA's competence in space.

Also: From a market perspective, this gives agencies such as the ESA a choice about who to work with in order to launch manned flights. That's huge. It's a transition from no competition to competition, and a transition from technological stasis to forward activity. (Soyuz was first launched in the 1960s and we are still using it? It's kind of crazy.)

I assume the Soyuz has developed since the 60s. I mean Ford has had a Mustang since the 60s but the 2018 Mustang is obviously not a '64 Mustang.

From what I know, it's only been minor revisions --- the cost of re-testing/re-certifying anything aerospace is (literally) astronomical.

747 first flight was in 1969.

737 first flight was in 1967.

Both B-52 and Tu-95 first flights were in 1952, both still in service today.

Sometimes problem is solved, and there is no need to solve it again, it would be insane for Russia to abandon Soyuz and develop something new at huge cost.

Docking to the ISS? Sure. But a reusable first stage? That has tremendous implications and had never been done.

SpaceX has been Lansing and reusing first stages for years. Last year they landed 3 at the same time (well ok one had a minor glitch)

The landing of first stage is definitely worth celebrating. But I honestly don't get all the hype about today's news:

- SpaceX already sent multiple times almost the same capsule to the ISS before for cargo. Today's launch is just a small modification of those ones.

- Soyuz is mundanely sending astronauts all the time to ISS.

It isn't almost the same capsule. That was discussed during the post-launch press conference. It's almost a complete redesign and they actually regretted not using more of Dragon 1.

> Today's launch is just a small modification of those ones

No it wasn't. I think you misunderstand what today's mission was about and what it opens for the future. Today's launch was a major departure from Normal SpaceX Activities. Launching a human-rated capsule to space is no "small modification".

> Soyuz is mundanely sending astronauts all the time to ISS.

They have exactly zero (0) vision or plans or constructed spaceships intended to start a Mars Colony. This makes SpaceX activities different from Russia activities in a pretty clear way. When SpaceX achieves a milestone it's a direct stepping stone to colonizing Mars. When Russia sends cosmonauts to the space station, they are sending cosmonauts to the space station and have no future plans. The two things are very different.

Human space flight capabailities have been restored to the United States.

This is a private company.

Elon is the CEO but this victory is about the SpaceX team, not him.

Some of us also need to stop drinking the Elon Musk Haterade.

22 failures / 786 launches

Comparable with falcon 9: 2 failures / 67 launches

Agreed! Notable achievement, but not game-changing.

One thing I remind myself is that Elon really didn't start Tesla. He's been snow balling off initial success and continues to accelerate thanks to collaboration with brilliant people.

Tesla was a utter disaster when Elon took over and would have failed. Making a tiny as car maker into a very large on is 100x harder then starting a little car company and running it into the ground.

Elon didn't start Tesla but he wanted to start a car company when he heard that another company had just started with the same idea so he joined them instead.

Since then he saved Tesla by taking over and investing his own money.

> He's been snow balling off initial success and

I'm sorry but that is just insane. The company was not very successful when he took over, so 'snow balling of early success' is just nonsense.

> continues to accelerate thanks to collaboration with brilliant people.

So like all successful business people/inventors in the history of the world?

Some might argue thats an achievement in itself.

How to be successful? You need to be associated with early stage successful projects. Sometimes it is luck, some people have also talent to discover those early successes.

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