SpaceX Captivates the World’s Netizens

It was déjà vu for our Automologist MAC…

It would be the world’s greatest ever practical joke if we could pull it off.

Last Saturday, NASA’s “Launch America” became just about the most-watched event ever. This was when NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, became the first passengers of SpaceX as Demo-2 whisked them off to the International Space Station (ISS).

This was the first crewed mission to launch from the Kennedy Space Centre on Cape Canaveral in Florida since 2011 and according to figures released from the agency, a record number of people tuned in to watch it, and I was one of them.

Now, I think they must be talking about online viewership as the figures released talked about 10.3 million concurrent viewers, which may sound like a lot, but I am old enough to remember tuning in to watch the Apollo launches on an old black and white TV, and when we did that, the whole of the country was tuned in as well.

In fact, it is estimated that some 600 million people tuned in to watch the Apollo 11 moon landing back in July of 1969. At that time, it would have been about a third of the world’s population. The parallels continue: Apollo was set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and civil rights movements; of course, Demo-2 is in the time of the Wuhan Flu pandemic and civil rights unrest.

I for one hope that these events will inspire the same sense of unity and awe and inspiration that the Apollo astronauts had seemed to create back in the day. For now, though, SpaceX has a USD2.6 billion contract to make six flights to the ISS for NASA, and it is looking like Elon Musk’s company will be going ahead as planned.

As for the monkey suits, would be funny right?

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