The new NASA science boss, Thomas Zurbuchen, says he wouldn’t mind if Elon Musk beats NASA to Mars because it isn’t a race.
Also Check: SpaceX back up and running
When it comes to spaceflight, Elon Musk has changed the game; of this there is little doubt. He isn’t alone in the private spaceflight industry, but he has certainly pushed the industry forward and inspired others companies such as Blue Origin to follow. The main aim of SpaceX, Elon says, is the colonization of Mars in order to make humanity a multi-planetary species. But wait; isn’t NASA already trying that?
They certainly are trying to get to Mars, but they also understand that getting humanity to another planet is a pretty gargantuan task. The new boss of science at NASA revealed in an interview yesterday that it’s certainly not a race. At a press conference at NASA HQ, Thomas Zurbuchen, the new associate administrator for science, told inquisitive journalists about current missions and future planning. The ‘Elon question’ also came up a few times:
“If Elon Musk brought the samples in the door right now I’d throw him a party out of my own money. I think that would be a huge success out of the strategies that were pursued by this administration of helping the private industry to really grow capabilities that 10 years ago were not around.”
He also spoke briefly about how NASA, and indeed all space agencies need to move forward:
“Just because somebody doesn’t agree with us the first time we open our mouths doesn’t mean that they’re stupid, or we’re smart, or the other way around. I think it’s really important to create, bring some empathy to the table. There’s a lot of stuff that can be learned by just talking to people.”
After the setback in September, SpaceX have been grounded but fully intend to get back up and running by the end of the year. All eyes will be on their next few launches, which you can usually stream from their website.