Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

Well Done, U.S. Space Program

June 5, 2020 --

For the first time since 2011, a U.S. space vehicle took astronauts to the International Space Station -- and from U.S. soil. The mission was launched from Cape Canaveral on May 30 and reached the space station on May 31, with astronauts Doug Hurley, 53 and Robert Behnken, 49, on board,  Previously, Hurley had two tours on the space station, July 2009 and July 2011, for a total of 683 hours in space, Behnken flew in two shuttle mission, July 2009 and July 2911, and has spent 680 hours in space.  They will be in space on this mission from 2 to 3 months.

Astronauts Hurley and Behnken joined astronaut Chris Cassidy, 50,  and Russian cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin, 51, and Ivan Vagner, 34 who have been on the space station since early April.  Cassidy was on two space shuttle missions, in 2008 and 2010 and has a total of 708 hours in space. Cosmonaut Ivanishin has had two space tours, from November 2011 to April 2012, and from July 2016 to October 2016. He has been in space a total of 280 days.  This is Cosmonaut Vagner's first space flight.

This is also the first launching of the private Space X program under the stewardship of  billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. 

LPR congratulates Musk, NASA, the astronauts and cosmonauts and all those who made this flight possible. 

The Space X flight unfortunately coincided with rioting in Minneapolis and many other U.S. cities.  It provides a welcome image of the positive, productive side of U.S, capabilities.  It is this image that the nation should be known for. 

Instead of violence allegedly sparked by videos suggesting police brutality, the U.S,. should be known for the amazing accomplishments of its renewed space program and the remarkable qualifications of this generation of astronauts. May they become household names, and may they go from success to success.

(By the way -- Elon Musk started up the Space X program in 2002.  He has been waiting 18 years for this day!)