To Space and Back

June 21, 2004

Today, the first civilian astronaut, Mike Melvill, reached the same milestone that Alan Shepard did First Civilian Astronaut Pilots SpaceShipOne into Suborbit and Complete SpaceShipOne coverage.


Wired News: Space Shot on a Shoestring 

[Paul] Allen said. "I hope this is the inspiration for a new generation."

But for Rutan, Monday's launch is partly about a once-in-a-lifetime R&D project and partly about a crusade to break down the barriers he says are keeping everyday citizens out of space.

"Obviously there is an enormous pent-up hunger to fly in space and not just dream about it," he said. "The new private space entrepreneurs have a vision -- I'm one of them. We do want our children to go to the planets. We are willing to seek breakthroughs by taking risks."

A year ago, Wired Magazine featured Scaled Composites White Knight on its cover in an article about the Allen/Rutan partnership and private spaceflight: The Right Stuff

Perhaps this will be the start of a new space race, with private companies competing to explore outer space.

Over in the public adventures in space exploration, a panel of experts believes the Bush administration plan to go to the Moon and Mars on the cheap is theoretically feasible. However, the NY Times looks at the report and finds: "The 60-page document amounts to a pep talk that is too skimpy to be persuasive."

Posted by Andrew Raff at June 21, 2004 01:59 PM
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