Well, it looks like the possibilities of outer space just opened up for a whole lot more people. After years without any options for the disabled, SpaceX stepped up to the challenge, and they delivered in a huge way. As of Tuesday, they have now successfully launched a handicap-accessible ramp into orbit.
The ramp, which was launched from Cape Canaveral via the Falcon 9 rocket, has successfully locked into a geosynchronous orbit and is fully ADA-compliant. Featuring a 20-foot length and 15-inch rise, the ramp has been specially constructed from carbon fiber in order to cut down on weight while remaining strong enough to endure the harsh conditions of outer space. Aside from minor adjustments to its trajectory every 10 to 14 months, the ramp will continue gently spinning without need for maintenance until 2022, when it will be outfitted with a new handrail.
“We’re pleased to see this project finally become a reality,” stated SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in an announcement of the successful launch. “This is the culmination of years’ worth of work, and the result is exactly what we hoped for: a safe, accessible ramp, available in orbit for all to use.”
After their previous attempt to launch an orbital ramp burned up in the upper stratosphere, the team at SpaceX has reason to celebrate. This impressive feat of engineering is a huge win for everyone who has dreamed of going to space but assumed it was only for able-bodied people. Through hard work and scientific ingenuity, SpaceX has done their part in making space a little more inclusive.
Wow, what a great way to address the needs of the disabled as we continue to expand into this new frontier! Hopefully more companies will be inspired to take action like this and build the outer space we all deserve. Keep up the good work!