Friday, March 12, 2010

Experimentation is Required for Progress

There has been a lot of criticism of SpaceX because their pre-flight tests on the Falcon 9 haven't gone flawlessly. These critics don't seem to understand the nature of new technology development. To push the envelope means to move into the unknown and there will be some missteps. New technology development is a learning process. If everything works just as expected you are not developing new technology.

I think the fundamental problem here is that those in the US aerospace community are unfamiliar with the process of technology development because we haven't done much of it in the last four decades.

I have complete confidence that SpaceX will be able to make the Falcon 9 fly. It may take a few test flights but that has always been their plan. Those who point to experiments which don't go as hoped and declare the company a failure, don't understand the purpose of these experiments.

For SpaceX, a 'lesson learned' from valve failure during test from FLORIDA TODAY

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