Friday, October 08, 2004

In case you missed it, the Scaled Composites group has claimed the X-Prize.

More importantly, civilians have taken the first step toward punching beyond Earth's gravity and taking us to the stars. I'm sorry. I can't believe this isn't the biggest news of the year.

Instead of a booster rocket, SpaceShipOne is carried into the air by this interesting craft before separating and launching from high up in the atmosphere

A crew of a few dozen people with private funding built and successfully tested a spacecraft capable of reaching space twice in a week. That's engineering. That's the kind of achievement we should be throwing parades for and fiestas and whatever the hell else.

While I'm a huge fan of NASA and government led space exploration, the fact that we live in a country and a time in which a small company can put together the technical know-how and ability to safely place a man in space and return him twice in a week? This is Wright Bros territory.

SpaceShipOne prepares to land

And yet the press treats these guys as if all they've done is eaten 50 hot dogs in a minute, or tied the land speed record or something. I mean, why don't we already know the names of these civilian astronauts? Shouldn't they be on the front page or be getting their face on Wheaties boxes or something?

SpaceShipOne returns safely to Earth

Read more about SpaceShipOne here.

No comments: