The Human Journey into SpaceApril 11, 2007
Six separate private ventures are racing to lift our visions of what can be while lifting our bodies into space and making a profit (eventually). As these projects grow, they’ll provide work for legions who might otherwise be making war weapons—a way to help shift our economy from dependence on war for employment—and provide inspiration for young people, especially young men who need to be part of something exciting and grand and even a bit dangerous. From Sir Richard Branson’s “Virgin Galactic” to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s “Blue Origin,” these visionaries intend to grasp the glory and wealth to be had by making space access available to Everyman and Everywoman. The 100 first tickets on “Virgin Galactic” are already sold out at $200,000.00 a pop. Branson plans to make the first flight himself, taking his two kids and his mom and dad with him. Space also happens to be literally and figuratively a gold mine: comets and asteroids contain water and minerals, more gold than all the gold on earth and hydrogen and oxygen, the basics for rocket fuel. At last count, at least seven plans for spaceports for tourism and exploration have emerged, from New Mexico to West Texas to Wisconsin. Elon Musk operates his SpaceX from old shops and warehouses in El Segundo, CA, and has hired talent from Boeing, Grumman, and Silicon Valley. (EYM, SOE).
Time Magaine, 5 March 2007, Cathy Booth Thomas, “The Space Cowboys.”