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“Commercially developed capsules will carry astronauts into space launching from the United States” have been talked up for what seems a good while now. The wait for talk to turn into accomplishment seemed to start ending with the first unmanned test launch of a SpaceX “Crew Dragon,” a development of the cargo-carrying capsules that have been docking with the space station and carrying some things back to Earth for a while now. The launch happened in the middle of the night such that I only saw it had been a success afterwards, and then I decided to wait for news the capsule with its dummy astronaut had docked to the space station. From here, I suppose I’m waiting to see the capsule makes it back to Earth and for a test of the escape rockets while a sacrificial booster is launching (which should be a previously used Falcon 9 instead of the “Little Joe” rockets used to qualify the Mercury and Apollo escape towers) before anyone gets inside.

Just before the test launch, I also happened to see Virgin Galactic’s passenger-carrying rocket plane had carried more than one person very high. Depending on how you look at it the wait for that might have seemed very long; the craft is a development of “SpaceShip One,” which flew very high in rapid succession to great congratulations about it having been done with government agencies having been cast out of the process, but which never carried more than one person and was sent to the Smithsonian quite soon after winning its prize. “No matter how hard you think this is, it’s harder” could be a heavy lesson, but when we do seem to get to accomplishment time can seem to start flowing a bit faster.

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