Elon Musk may say controversial things sometimes but he isn’t really one to show much emotion when appearing in public. It seems like the closest he got to doing so is during a recent live appearance at NASA on the event of a SpaceX liftoff.
The billionaire seemed to have gotten choked up for a few seconds as he talked about feeling responsible for the safety of the astronauts inside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Musk particularly shared how he felt this most when he saw the families of the astronauts.He even personally assured their kids that he and his team will make sure that their fathers would land back okay.
He has previously emphasized how much SpaceX prioritizes the astronauts’ safety in a past interview with ‘CBS Morning’. These efforts resulted in him having some sleepless nights.
In the end, the CEO said that the fault would be his should things go wrong while the credit would go to NASA and SpaceX when they do go right.
While he has his worries, Musk remains confident about his company’s capabilities and the safety of the Crew Dragon mission. After all, both the rocket and spacecraft used have gone through thousands of tests
NASA estimates that the chances of a fatal flight are 1-in-276 while the chances of a failure, which would not result in crew fatalities, are 1-in-60.
In the end, though, the mission itself faces a higher risk compared to the crew. This is thanks in part to SpaceX’s advanced emergency-abort system, which has demonstrated its abilities to secure the Crew Dragon away from a failed Falcon 9 rocket.
Ready to Go
The two NASA astronauts who would be manning the flight have also accepted the risks that come with the job.
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have worked for five years on Crew Dragon, which has allowed them both to get insights on the different ways the craft may fail. This opportunity for first-hand learning, Behnken said, gave them more information than any other crew in recent history had.
The 49-year-old astronaut also noted how previous manned space flights sort of served as test missions for them on their trip.
The Crew Dragon was initially scheduled to take off on May 27 but was rescheduled due to inclement weather. A launch would be attempted again on May 30.