Den (dewhitton) wrote,

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Paying Passengers

"Yes, astronauts have been flying into space for over thirty years,"Tumlinson acknowledged. "But they were government employees, operating within a narrow and often short term government agenda. Whether for national prestige, as when we went to the Moon, or for science or advanced research, this is different. Rutan and the others following him have a far different goal in mind. They want to really open the frontier to all of us."

The big thing being discussed all over the media is that now paying passengers can go into space. They can pay less than $100,000 to ride a space-plane into weightlessness for a few minutes. It's not like you can get out and go for a walk but you get a few minutes of weightlessness and a terriffic view.

To me, that seems really trivial. It reminds me of a coach tour. "If this is Tuesday, we must be in Belgium." You may be spending an order of magnitude less than if you went up with NASA or the Russians, but you're still a bloody tourist.

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