I addressed both of these things in my piece.
First, comparing SpaceX to early rocketry in terms of successes and failures is like comparing a modern Ford to a Model T. Launching a rocket today is nothing like launching a Thor-Able or Atlas-A in the late 50s and early 60s. NASA, and NACA before it, were experimenting with the very fundamentals of rocket science. SpaceX is absolutely breaking new ground in the field, but not in nearly the same way. Not to mention that SpaceX is a private company and not a government and it needs to remain successful to remain in business.
Additionally, NASA hasn’t had complete ownership of a full stack LV since the Shuttle (which had a chequered history). SpaceX isn’t competing against NASA: the SLS is a long way out while the F9 has been launching for years now. Which brings me on to my second point:
The unfortunate fact is that this incident dents SpaceX’s record, such that it doesn’t compare favourably to modern LVs: I gave the stats in my article:
This failure comes barely a year after the previous failure, and 2/29 doesn’t compare well to competitors such as ULA, whose Atlas V and Delta IV have only had one partial failure each in all of their 64 and 33 launches respectively.
I am incredibly disappointed by this accident. I want success in this wave of space exploration more than anything.
Also, as you well know, the cutbacks in manned spaceflight after Apollo were not because students like me were writing articles about it. Naysayers aren’t the reason we aren’t on Mars right now.
Nonetheless, I’m disappointed that you consider my article naysaying. I pointed out the practical consequences of this incident, while making a point of expressing my hope for the future in my conclusion:
we should not forget about the incredible milestones that have already been achieved, and I remain optimistic about the future of the space industry.