After trying for at least three times to get the third Falcon 1 off the ground, the SpaceX COTS rocket precursor was lost (it appears, for the third time) about three minutes into flight, just as the second stage was supposed to light up.
While we empathize with the good folks who poured their hearts into the effort, anyone believing a start up company will come riding in on flame and thunder to fill the gap the Emperor has created should now become very concerned about our ability to service the space station and even more concerned about our country's future beyond the surly bonds.
Least there be any doubt now about what happens when you paint a rosy picture while puttting risks to the side, what happens when you work without margin at the front end of a progam, and what happens when you fail to adequately test all operational aspects of a rocket machine, you only need look in the water in the South Pacific near Kwaj. Software can be forced to violate physics from time to time, but smoke and fire is cleansing.
That future is now headed straight for the cliff. With the Emperor whoring himself out, joining ranks with the likes of John Glenn and others questioning the retirement of the space shuttle, we will continue to be marooned in low earth orbit. We will find ourselves mourning the loss of more spacefaring friends as we rationalize ignoring the Columbia recommendations and cross the line in the sand set by the Gehman commission. And when that day comes, our leadership who allowed this to happen, who couldn't pass an eighth grade science test, will just say Rocket Science is too hard and shut off the spigot.
The Man with No Clothes has put us in this position. Unfortunately, no one that matters is pointing at this wardrobe malfunction. It is the beginning of the end.