Commercial Space Flight

If I didn’t know better, I’d think this was a joke!
http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/06/02/private.space/index.html
The first time a non-government ship will leave Earth’s atmosphere! I almost never thought it’d happen in my lifetime. If it works, it will mean the opening of a whole new world of space exploration!
http://www.scaled.com/projects/tierone/New_Index/body.htm

As cynical as I am about commercialism and blatant capitalism, they’re often the driving forces in scientific advancement. And making things cheaper. Once it’s shown it’s possible for private ventures to enter space, we’re going to start seeing more projects to explore the asteroids, the moon, Mars, perhaps even further! So long as there are commercial benefits, rare minerals to be found, off-Earth communities, zero-G farming, tourism, people will find the way to make space flight cheaper and faster.

The flip-side, it may also make it less safe. NASA has been doing well having only three major accidents involving death (four if you count the non-fatal mission failure of Apollo 13,) over four decades of space flight. Once you get companies wanting to do it cheaper and faster, cost saving failures may increase the risk of spaceflight. But then, no one wants to have their investments blow up and deaths to prevent investment…so who knows. The 1st Mars rover, a complete success at a fraction of the cost of other NASA projects because they cut the size of the development and management team to a handful of people and next to no bureaucracy, shows that good things can come from smaller/no government fingers in the pot.

Ever since that shortlived T.V. series in the early 80’s about a private reusable rocket and the family that built and flew it (forgot the name of it) I dreamed of space travel available to the public and not limited to a small group of Air Force officers and pilots. Oh, granted I doubt *I* will ever get to go into space. I’m unskilled at anything useful for space, and have no “connections” and no money. But I relish vicariously this incredible advancement for all Earthlings..