One major step closer to space colonization!

The first privately funded, non-governmental, liquid fuel rocket reached Earth’s orbit this last weekend!

Phil Plait comments on it in his Bad Astronomer blog:

It’s kind of funny, when you go to the company’s Web site, the illustrations of the craft look so sci-fi, or like a page from a role-playing game book. 🙂

It took twelve years to get from Russia’s first satellite, Sputnik, to the first moon landing. We have the information, knowledge, and experience from the past to help as well as better technology–they better be able to put a person on the Moon in under ten years or something is seriously wrong. I think private enterprise will be able to get a Moon-walk before NASA’s projected return to Moon goal.

With developments like this, so long as the state of the middle class improves from this current slide toward disenfranchisement and being an even seriously more have-not class, I would like to be optimistic that my daughter will have the opportunity in her lifetime to be able to ride into space. It would be a dream of mine to be able to view our delicate, blue-green home from the inky black of space. *sigh*

Bottom line, we have to be able to get off this planet, and develop the ability soon if there’s going to be any hope for the human race (assuming one wants the human race to be able to survive. I suppose I can accept the academic argument that we should remain on Earth and thrive or perish as a species just like any animal on the planet. Personally, bollocks to that!) Whether it’s because we’ve frakked up our habitable biosphere, or a killer comet, or pandemic disease, whatever the reason–humans are ultimately doomed. It’s just a matter of when: tomorrow; 100,000 years from now. If we can start to colonize space (and arguably spread our locust-like expansion to as yet innocent and unsuspecting planets and moons) we can increase the chance that our species will be around long enough to evolve into more hardy, space-resilient creatures.

Speaking of hardy resilience, our own planet so wants to kill us! Check out this video, also supplied by Phil Plait, on some pesky weather found in Antarctica:

http://view.break.com/487339 – Watch more free videos