An American space capsule returned safely to earth today with a major difference—the logo on the side was SpaceX and not NASA. This was a commercial endeavor in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Watching the live television feed of the splashdown took me back to the 1960s and the return of American astronauts from orbit. Although the SpaceX Dragon capsule did not carry any astronauts, such an application is a distinct possibility in the future.
Like many others, I was disappointed when the NASA space shuttle program was shut down and the United States no longer could carry personnel or cargo into space and to the International Space Station. For the first time in 50 years, we no longer had that capability and were dependent on other nations for such accessibility.
SpaceX is a commercial enterprise and a very ambitious one. Not only do they seek to resupply the ISS on a regular basis, but they hope to be able to ferry personnel into orbit and have plans for a heavy lift vehicle that could play a role in further space exploration. This is evidently the wave of the future.
Congratulations to the SpaceX team and best wishes for the future!