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Showing posts from July, 2012

Where did all these suborbital space tourism companies come from??

Were you absent when the suborbital tourism movement was being coined?

Did you miss the philosophy lessons?

Gather 'round young ones, let's sit on the grass and discuss the beliefs that make men build planes when they really want to be building rockets.

Way back in the 70s, the realization that space would never be a frontier until launch costs had been reduced led many to pin their hopes on the Space Transportation System, and later on the only surviving component: the shuttle.

During the 80s, it became obvious that the shuttle would never achieve a reduction in the cost of access to space and, in fact, NASA had stopped claiming that this was the goal of that program.

During the 90s, various rag-tag efforts were made to turn LEO and MEO commsat launch into a massive market which would require the kind of launch capability that only a fully reusable vehicle could service - something like the mythical DC-X that many believed was killed for challenging the Shuttle.

Some say they actua…