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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

9/29/2004

Grand!

SpaceShipOne, with astronaut Michael Melvill at the controls, climbed to an unofficial altitude of more than 330,000 feet, about 2,000 feet above its target altitude of 62 miles.

Dick Rutan, whose brother Burt Rutan helped design the ship, said radar indicated that the plane reached its target. "They made the altitude," he said.
AP
This is the real news. Leave aside just how big a loser Kerry is, just how distorted the New York Times coverage of the insurgency in Iraq is, how silly the Liberal party is looking at the AdScam inquiry. We are one launch away from fully private, manned, spaceflight. There is even a customer,
Even before Wednesday's flight, Richard Branson, the airline mogul and adventurer, announced in London on Monday that his Virgin Group plans to offer passenger flight into space aboard rockets based on SpaceShipOne by 2007.
sf gate
And Branson is going to be his own first customer. Of course the busybodies at the FAA are handwringing,
"It's easy to say you're going to do it. The hard part is doing it," said Donn Walker, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, which must certify any potential space venture. He noted that even a conventional airline, such as Branson's forthcoming Virgin USA, can take several years to certify. The designer of Branson's spacecraft told the Wall Street Journal in June that he thought it would cost more than $200 million for it to win FAA certification to carry passengers.
sf gate
I'd hope that Branson will launch from Jamaica and tell the FAA to piss up a rope.

The point about space travel is that it is not safe. It's an adventure. You sign your waiver and you go.

Go where?

Well there is talk of offering a 50 million dollar prize for a space craft capable of reaching a space station up 100 miles. Private space travel is reaching escape velocity and with it will come a scientific and economic boom the likes of which the world has never seen.