A successful launch could shift America’s future policy on space exploration

Mark your calendars, people. February 6 is going to be a historic day for Elon Musk and SpaceX. After months of hype and speculation, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket space ship will finally make its maiden voyage to space. The launch is historic for so many reasons. It once again puts Musk in the spotlight as the real-life equivalent of Tony Stark, a man whose ego is as big as his goals in life. It so happens that one of Musk’s goals is to build the biggest operational rocket in human history at a third of the cost of more contemporary spaceships. As long as Falcon Heavy’s launch happens without a glitch, Musk will once again be on top of the world, bested only by his Cherry Red Tesla Roadster that’s joining Falcon Heavy in its launch to space.

No matter how you look at it, Falcon Heavy’s launch is a big deal for a lot of people. It has huge implications for Musk, his SpaceX company, and the entire U.S. aerospace industry. If Falcon Heavy’s launch is successful, it would not only be a celebration of human ingenuity, but it would also set an example that a vision as grandiose as this could be successful if the right people are behind it and it’s funded properly by private money.

On the other hand, a successful launch could also raise questions about why the federal government should spend billions of tax money to traditional contractors and NASA’s own Space Launch System. That partly explains why the office of Vice President Mike Pence is reportedly keen to find out how the launch goes. That much was divulged by Pence’s own chief of staff, Nick Ayers, who tweeted that the Falcon Heavy launch could have “major (positive) ramifications for US space industry if this goes according to plan.” The Veep has a vested interest in the launch because he now heads the National Space Council, and part of his responsibly is to oversee America’s space policy and commercial space efforts.

Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster Heads to Space Aboard Falcon Heavy on February 6th
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SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy will launch on February 6 at 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm EST.

A successful launch could change the trajectory and focus of the country’s space policy. That kind of effect will have long-term ramifications on a high-spending sector and agency that have largely relied on public money to get their projects — literally — off the ground. If all goes well, Musk may very well be on the cusp of changing the narrative on the U.S. space industry and the future policies that will define how it moves forward.

Once again, mark those calendars. SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy will launch on February 6 at 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm EST. If for any reason that gets delayed, the backup date will be the next day, February 7. Godspeed, Falcon Heavy (and Tesla Roadster). Here’s to hoping the launch is a success!

References

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