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Boeing Says Elon Musk’s Falcon Rocket is Just a Pretty Head-Turner

Over the past few months or so, the world began taking notice of a new website created by Boeing. Called Watch U.S. Fly, the website is meant to promote Boeing’s efforts to become a spacefaring company.
Boeing Space Launch System 1 photo
Digging through the posts on the website, one can see all the space-related activities Boeing is involved in, from the development of the Space Launch System (SLS) to the CST-100 Starliner capsule or Trump’s visit to the company’s St. Louis facility.

Among the things posted on the website, there’s a piece of writing called “SpaceX Falcon Heavy is too small for deep space exploration.” In the article, Boeing quotes NASA’s head of spaceflight Bill Gerstenmaier as saying the Falcon Heavy, despite being described by Elon Musk as the “most powerful operational rocket in the world,” is too small for NASA’s needs.

Deep space exploration, meaning venturing with humans and machines beyond Earth’s gravity well, is NASA’s next big business plan. The agency plans a return to the Moon, the creation of a lunar space station and a landing on neighboring Mars.

For all those plans, says Boeing, the rocket of choice should be the SLS, not the Falcon. That’s because their rocket will be capable of carrying into space equipment that is too large for the Falcon Heavy.

“The Falcon Heavy launch turned heads in February, but SpaceX’s rocket is a smaller type of rocket that can’t meet NASA’s deep space needs. Once the Boeing-built SLS is operational, it will be the most powerful rocket ever built,” says Boeing.

It is not the first time Boeing takes aim at SpaceX in this newly ignited corporate space wars. While speaking at a Politico Space Forum earlier in April, Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing CEO, said that the first person that would get to Mars would do so in a Boeing machine.

If the company will find some spare time, he even hinted Boeing might find the Tesla Roadster launched by Musk into space in February and bring it back.

 

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