RUD stands for Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly, and that is what happened at the end of the Starship flight test on Wednesday. The 6+ minutes flight ended with a huge explosion. Was it a failure? No. In fact the test was a great success. The engineers got all the data they need to perfect the next flight test. The Starship is 30 feet in diameter and the height of a 12 story building. Getting it off the ground at all seems like a miracle. Most amazing is the testing of a return to land vertically. This remarkable feat was amazing to watch. The Starship turned over horizontally and literally fell toward Earth.When near the ground it righted itself and fired its rocket engines to slow it down for a landing. Unfortunately, there was a fuel pressure problem and not enough thrust to slow down adequately. Elon Musk’s comments later were, “Mars here we come”. The Starship will be able to carry 100 people to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
The question is what should be the priorities. Healthcare workers and others on the on the front line of assistance to others seems clear. But then who? Seniors and others with increased vulnerability would be pretty high on the list. Uber, in a letter to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said its drivers provide critical transportation for essential workers and allow others to stay home and order food. Other industry groups, including aviation, food production, agricultural, consumer goods, and trucking are also asking officials to prioritize their workers for early vaccine distribution. Governors and local officials will call the shots. Healthcare workers will likely be universally at the top of the list, but after them we will see variations. There will probably be some people jumping ahead in the line.
Bitcoin had a pullback but is still more than double year to date. Stocks pulled back some too but newly public companies soared: DoorDash and AirBnB pulled back but still showed extraordinary gains from the IPO price. This will be a record year for IPOs, and there are more to come including Roblox. My granddaughters love to play Roblox. They know way more about it than I do and they are 7 and 9. Roblox is planning to raise $1 billion and the valuation may be $8 billion or more.