SpaceX Shoots for the Stars

SpaceX Shoots for the Stars

By Ally Pick , Round Table reporter

SpaceX spacecraft company, founded by Elon Musk, plans to send two private citizens on a mission to circumnavigate the moon. This mission is set for the later part of 2018 and will be the first time that humans have traveled that deep in space in 45 years.

Limited training for the two citizens will start this year, but the ship they plan to send is what will be doing most of the work. The new Falcon Heavy rocket and revamped, crew-capable Dragon capsule will be put on autopilot for the entirety of the trip.

While the trip is still under construction, it has already peaked many people’s interest and received mixed reactions from the public.

Some Middletown High School students felt, while the trip to the moon is nothing new, it is something that cannot be overlooked.

When MHS sophomore Bridget O’Toole was asked how she felt about a company focusing on sending people to the moon when it’s already been done before, she was not so quick to cast the idea aside.

“Has anybody ever sent regular people to the moon, though?” she asked, opening a window to a different perspective of the voyage. “I think it’s a good idea for them to send regular people to the moon next.”

“After that, those regular people can follow astronauts to places like mars, too,” she added.

O’Toole was interested in the prospect of astronaut-citizens becoming a reality. She said that if she had the opportunity to be one of these citizens, she would be excited and said it would “put a whole new meaning to traveling.”

Other students were not so keen on the idea of what seems like a rush to get to the moon when it’s all been done before.

MHS freshman Ali Robinson said the trip itself seems redundant, as the moon is no new territory in space. She also feels there’s a limited amount of training going into a dangerous mission, which isn’t professional or planned well. Robinson was much more interested in SpaceX’s other mission, the one to Mars.

While working on their mission to the moon, the spacecraft company has also been focused on a different flight to Mars. Robinson feels that the mission to the moon should be scrapped in order to have full focus on Operation Mars.
Robinson determines the mission to Mars to be far more interesting and worthy of a company’s time, as Mars still has an air of mystery.

Like Robinson, MHS freshman Colby Doreen believes the moon is “old news.” While he feels that the mission isn’t a bad idea, he wouldn’t participate in it himself.

“Going to the moon just really isn’t appealing to me – to put my life on pause for a year and train to be a pretend astronaut, just to go up to the moon for a couple days,” Doreen said.

Unlike Robinson, he doesn’t see a problem in the training going into the mission. Doreen made the comparison to planes that are also on put autopilot and the little fault that arises from that.

The fact that an extensively trained crew would not be on board made the trip less appealing for Doreen, but he noted that, although he wouldn’t go, he welcomes others to.

While some students felt that the moon expedition was something new and fresh for the idea of space travel, most felt it was an expired vision after the first moon landing.

After years of space travel and the expanding of what little knowledge we have, many people are restless for a new discovery. What has already been done is nothing of interest to most, even with little tweaking of the mission itself.