Conservatives have always had mixed feelings toward SpaceX’s Elon Musk. On the one hand, they tend to gravitate toward swashbuckling entrepreneurs who push the technological envelope while making lots of money. On the other hand, some on the right feel a little queasy about Musk’s dependence on government subsidies. His high profile schmoozing with then President Barack Obama in 2010, around the time that leader had killed NASA’s deep space exploration program, did not help.

So how does the right wing feel about Musk launching a car into interplanetary space with the Falcon Heavy? While some on the left [VIDEO]sneered at it, even a writer for the Planetary Society [VIDEO], many on the right are pretty stoked by the launch.

Praising Elon Musk

The Washington Free Beacon, one of the national capital’s three right-leaning newspaper, published a piece entitled, artfully, “In Praise of Elon Musk.” The piece noted that while President Barack Obama diminished the cause of space exploration when he canceled the Bush-era Constellation program, Musk and fellow business tycoons seem to have taken up the slack. The article also took up the theme of how nimble commercial space firms are running rings around the government. “Where government regulation, bureaucracy, risk-aversion, inertia, and entropy limited the horizon of manned space exploration, the private space industry is abuzz with innovation, efficiencies, and entrepreneurship.” The WFB also suggested that Musk may have burnished the sagging reputation of Silicon Valley, rocked recently by accusations of political correctness.

The National Review chimes in

The National Review, the venerable magazine founded by the late William F. Buckley, has run a series of positive articles heaping praise on Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy feat. David French noted how the launch provided some much needed positive news and provided Americans with new hope that space exploration would, to use the well-worn phrase, make America great again. Kevin Williamson noted that people like Elon Musk are making space exploration less expensive, a good thing in his view, making missions to Mars and a return to the moon within reach.

The New York Post heralds the birth of a new space race

The New York Post, the city’s more right-leaning newspaper, praised the flight of the Falcon Heavy as well. The paper noted that the launch might presage the start of a new space race, driven this time more by commercial interests than nationalistic pride, though one should not count the latter motive out.

The bottom line

Elon Musk has won a slew of friends on the conservative side of the political spectrum that hitherto had looked upon him with some skepticism. Will he be able to parlay that new support into contracts and support for his space-based ambitions? Stay tuned.