Monday, June 21, 2004

When The Future Arrived

Private craft to head for spaceA man will try today to reach space for the first time in a trip not organized by a government.
If the winds are calm, a jet will take off here at 6:30 a.m. PT with a torpedo-shaped vehicle called SpaceShipOne hanging from its belly. At 47,000 feet, the privately-financed SpaceShipOne will disengage from the jet, fire a rocket and head toward space.

SpaceShipOne will not try to go high enough to orbit the Earth, as the space shuttle does. Instead it will make a suborbital flight that will give the pilot roughly three minutes of weightlessness and a superb view of Earth.

It is pretty exciting to think that the age of private space flight may begin in just a few hours. If outer space proves to be profitable than we could be on the threshold of a golden age of space exploitation. As a big-government liberal determined to crush the entrepreneurial spirit I am heartened to read that the federal government claims and exercises a right to regulate private space firms and that in fact SpaceShipOne has won the approval of the hardworking bureaucrats at the federal Aviation Administration.

Update: SpaceShipOne's first flight has been a success (link here).


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