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It blowed up real good!

Elon Musk is a bad person and his companies are terrible, so I will admit I did not pay much attention to anything having to do with the SpaceX test launch over the weekend. I guess it blew up, but not quite as quickly has the last one they tried?

Reading up on it since then, I am kind of shocked—even though I really should not be at this point—at how much of the media coverage is basically functioning as PR for a private company. Rockets and space are cool and all that, but stuff like the NYT’s “Saturday’s flight of Starship, a powerful vehicle designed to carry NASA astronauts to the moon, was not a complete success” is just ridiculous.

I have always been a pretty big fan of the space program and space exploration in general, but I find myself souring on the whole idea at this point. Crewed missions to space are a neat idea in theory, but it’s not clear to me that they are worth the effort and expense. I think people of my generation all have this idea that it’s going to eventually be like the sci-fi shows and movies we all watched as kids, but the reality is that it will never be like that. We are not going to find magical solutions like warp drives and antimatter engines—and yes, these are magic, just as much as any book of spells or laser swords—that will make it so we are not squandering enormous resources to shoot people in small metal cans out of gravity wells and through a hard vacuum.

And if we are going to continue to invest money as a society in crewed missions, we should not be funneling that money to hucksters like Musk. While I get that SpaceX is not Tesla or Twitter, they guy has established a pretty strong record of making wildly exaggerated claims and rushing stuff to market with little heed for whether it is safe or even functional. I am not sure why we think his rockets will be any more reliable than his self-driving cars or the ongoing train wreck of Twitter.

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