News Item:
Budget rocket reaches space

Han Solo [Harrison Ford’s character in the Star Wars movies] didn’t work for any government, national or planetary.  He was a privateer.  He kept his old hulk of a ship going by scavaging parts just about anywhere he could find them.  Science fiction, once again, became the harbinger of science fact when PayPal originator, Elon Musk, through his new company Space Exploration Technologies, launched his SpaceX rocket from the Marshall Islands.

Chances are, it won’t be long before private enterprise going into space will become commonplace, because SpaceX isn’t in the game alone.  Paul Allen, with his Microsoft bucks, paid for a Burt Rutan design that has already taken a human to the edge of the atmosphere.  Richard Branson, of Virgin Airlines, has Rutan building a larger version of that craft, with launches scheduled for next year.  Jeff Bezos is using his Amazon cash to test a rocket of his own, as is John Carmack, a computer game maker.  The most ambitious of all may be the plans of Robert Bigelow, who made his fortune with earth-bound hotels.  He plans on putting a hotel into orbit.  We’re guessing that everyone who arrives will have to valet park.
Full Story: Scientific American

Cartoon from Sid in the City

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