Thursday, October 14, 2010
Very slowly we're getting closer and closer to the world that visionaries like Werner VonBraun and Arthur C. Clark imagined. We're way past 2001 chronologically, but so far from it technically.
SpaceShipTwo's Tourist Joyrides Could Launch Next Year
By Mike Wall
SPACE.com Senior Writer
posted: 12 October 2010
01:36 pm ET
After making its first solo glide flight Sunday (Oct. 10), the private suborbital spacecraft SpaceShipTwo could achieve another major milestone — a powered test flight involving the firing of its rocket motor — in the next few months.
Officials at Virgin Galactic, which plans to use its SpaceShipTwo to ferry tourists on suborbital joyrides, have said a powered test flight could come by the end of this year, and paying passengers could be flying to the edge of space by late 2011 or early 2012. [Video: SpaceShipTwo's First Solo Glide Test.]
I'm not real crazy about Richard Branson, but he has put his money into something he believes in and something I believe in, so I gotta give him lots of credit and admire his commitment. It's where my billions would be going if I had them.
Burt Rutan is THE aviation genius of our time. No less than guys like Glenn Curtis, the Wright Bros., VonBraun, Kelly Johnson or Jack Northrup, he has changed the way people look at airplanes. His designs have been revolutionary to the science of aviation. I am so glad he stepped in and began working on this project. Nobody has and nobody could have done this besides him right now.
Maybe NASA will take a look at what these guys have done out there in the desert and take a lesson in innovation, design and efficiency.
I hereby present Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites with the SagaciousHilly's "Spirit of Apollo Award."
(Stay tuned for more Spirit of Apollo award winners.)