Karl Gallagher (selenite) wrote,
Karl Gallagher

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The World Has Changed

I was a bit surprised by all the fuss over the SpaceShipOne flight. I'd been tracking it, but I'm a rocket geek. I was eagerly monitoring the DCX flights and hardly anyone in the world cared about that. Same for all of the other entrepreneurial space efforts. So hearing about Rutan's ship on all the news outlets was a little boggling. Other people noticed this?

Hearing it be the lead headline on NPR that evening was really amazing. But what's driving it home for me is the Business World column in today's Wall Street Journal. It's discussing space tourism, not as a gee-whiz-look-what-these-guys-are-up-to interest piece, but as another industry being strangled by government regulations. The bit about SpaceEx having to analyze the noise impact on sea lions really amazes me, if Titan IV launches haven't deafened them nothing will.

Pat Bahn is right--the "giggle factor" among investors has gone away. I think we may make a lot more progress getting into space this decade. And the progress we do make will be sustainable, not just a burst of flags and footprints.
Tags: engineering, space
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