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Getting Closer to the Stars September 21, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in business, New Mexico, science, science fiction, sense of wonder, space.
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The Spaceship Company has started its assembly line out in the Mojave. That means they are confident enough in their design to actually produce more than a prototype. The article doesn’t say how many they intend to build. “A fleet” can be modest, but it did say they can build two complete systems at a time (both carrier and spaceship=system, I assume)

It’s a start and the first commercial flight is set for Spaceport America next year. I had hoped to see it this year, but everything costs more and takes longer, tho they claim they are hitting the deadlines.

The 450 or so that have ponied up deposits weren’t specified as being individuals. Some might be reservations from universities and private companies wanting a cheap micro-g experiment environment.

So how about the commercial orbital and return to the Moon? Seems 2020 might be a doable date for getting back to the Moon. Dammit. I’m getting too old. I want to see a manned landing on Mars. One reason I love all the pulps is the hero scientist’s ability to toss together a stardrive (that works the first time–or maybe second, after turning a single screw adjustment on the breakthrough-concept framistat that makes it all possible) before breakfast so he can take off right away and get home by lunch. The real world operates differently and with bureaucrats in the loop, barely operates. So what if that starship sucks all the electricity from the grid and shuts down half the planet? It launched, didn’t it?

One of these days I hope to get to Spaceport America and watch a launch. It won’t be the same as an Apollo launch or even a manned launch to the ISS (chances are good I’ll never get to China to watch them launch their sinonauts to their spacestation) I don’t like the idea of the US not being in space in a significant fashion, but at least mankind will be, even if their spacesuits have red stars on them. That’s got to be good enough for me, alas.

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