Look, we’ll be honest: We gave Elon Musk’s SpaceX a bit of a rough time yesterday, after a public test of one of the company’s prototype rocket engines turned into a very public display of extremely expensive fireworks. But, credit where it’s due, the company managed to help two astronauts achieve a dream that’s been beyond American capabilities for nearly a decade today: Getting the fuck off this shithole of a planet for at least a couple of goddamn hours, please.
Specifically, astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken said goodbye to Suck City at 2:22 this afternoon, slipping the surly bonds of Earth and departing for the altogether less craptastic neighborhood of the International Space Station. The launch of the Crew Dragon vehicle, SpaceX’s first manned mission to date, was the first manned launch of a spaceflight from American soil since NASA shuttered its Space Shuttle program in 2011. (China and Russia have both continued to launch flights throughout the intervening decade, giving both countries an obvious leg up in the fabled Holy Shit, We Gotta Get Outta Here Race.)
So far, the mission has gone off without a hitch, with the Crew Dragon capsule set to dock with the ISS tomorrow morning. The flight is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew program, in which the government agency funds and oversees private companies’ efforts to develop vehicles capable of reaching and servicing the ISS, fulfilling humanity’s other dream, that of making sure shitheel venture capitalists and frothing tech bros can someday own their own moon.
Still, though: Space! Sure, it doesn’t feel great to think about the fact that our only escape route from our celestial cradle-grave is currently owned in joint partnership by the King Of The Space Force and the proud daddy of the Cybertruck, but still: Space! There’s fewer assholes out there!
For now, at least.