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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Carl On Private Spaceflight

I have begun to believe that we do need to move to the era of private spaceflight. I'm not sure whether Carl at NOFP is right about eliminating the space shuttle program. I am way too anxious to think rationally on the subject. If I had the habit of chewing my nails I'd be down to the first joint by now. Yes, I am praying over this one.

Carl's post has great photos, btw. And links! Always lots of links.

On the brighter side, Branson and Rutan are forming a new company to build spacecraft:
Called The Spaceship Company, the new entity will manufacture launch aircraft, various spacecraft and support equipment and market those products to spaceliner operators. Clients include launch customer, Virgin Galactic—formed by Branson to handle space tourist flights.

The Spaceship Company is jointly owned by Branson’s Virgin Group and Scaled Composites of Mojave, California. Scaled will be contracted for research and development testing and certification of a 9-person SpaceShipTwo (SS2) design, and a White Knight Two (WK2) mothership to be called Eve. Rutan will head up the technical development team for the SS2/WK2 combination.
The government of today is bureaucratic and rarely does anything superbly. When NASA was dominated by scientists and engineers it performed astonishingly well. However, given current political realities I don't think that will ever recur, so perhaps Carl is right.

Even Branson's not rich enough to get Rutan to Mars unless we prime the pump.
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