NASA has selected two firms to build a commercial cargo service to the international space station. SpaceX and Rocketplane of El Segundo and Oklahoma City respectively could see the contract grow to $1 billion if Congress and NASA agree that the companies can shuttle astronauts to and from the space station in addition to their other cargo.
NASA is hoping to turn over the mundane work of space freight to private enterprises so that NASA can focus on more complicated ambitions like space stations on the moon and a trip to Mars and finding dark matter.
On the lighter side there is no word on whether or not Dennis Hopper will be approached to a spokesman reminiscent of William Shatner’s Priceline work. And in general there is a lot of potential for bad puns with this idea from the redefinition of what it means to be an ‘over the road’ driver to new boasts by space truckers about the ‘real long haul.’
No matter what, I’m sure in a few years we will hear about complaints that space truckers are being forced to work to many hours and not allowed to get enough sleep while they are away from the cab of the space ship. . .