At a conference at the Kennedy Space Center, SpaceX said that they are planning to send a crew of their employees into orbit starting in 2015. This is not surprising because SpaceX successfully sent a cargo craft to the International Space Station in October. In late November, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said that he wanted to set up space colonies on Mars and the company tested their Grasshopper vertical flight last month. SpaceX project manager and former NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman made the announcement about the company’s goal at the conference.
The SpaceX Dragon and Falcon 9 is getting close to the point to becoming safe enough to carry NASA crew members into space. NASA indicated that they are excited about the mission and they want to know when commercial space companies are ready to fly their own crew at their own risk according to Orlando Sentinel.
“We are not selling tickets. Don’t call our toll-free number,” quipped Reisman as quoted by The Orlando Sentinel. “I did not come to SpaceX specifically ? with the intent of going back to space.” He added “What’s important to me is that I can look myself in the mirror ? [and say] that the risk is acceptable for me to fly.” After the Space Shuttle was retired, NASA has been depending on Russia to send astronauts into space.