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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dateline Feb 16, 2006, News from the Internet

  • New Scientist has a more detailed story on the LiftPort recent Space Elevator test.

  • Mike Griffin is testifying before the House Science Committee on the 2007 budget today between 10:00am and 12:00pm EST. You can watch it here. You can read what to expect before the testimony.

  • Work for the next shuttle launch (in May?) continue.

  • Space Adventures, the company that has put three tourists onto the space station, is planning a suborbital tourism base in Singapore. If the US doesn't stay friendly to the new space startups, more launches could be moved out of country. More details should be released next Monday, February 20.

  • Starchaser, in a dispute over financial records, has pulled away from talks with the Las Cruces to build a rocket assembly plant. They still want to remain in New Mexico and launch from the proposed New Mexico Spaceport.

  • Stephen Rogers is starting the Albireo Space & Aeronautics Fund to invest in space tourism, among other things. It is set to start April 1.

  • Red Herring has (essentially) a debate between John Pike and XCOR's Jeff Greason. While John Pike seems to think $10,000lb is as good as it is going to get (even though Russia does it cheaper then that now), Jeff has this comment close to my heart:
    However, Mr. Greason says the commercial space travel race has barely begun. “Because of the accomplishments of cost-no-object government programs, people think that this is a mature field,” he says. “But part of the excitement of this field—which makes it different from the semiconductor field—is that for 40 years some of the best brains have been thinking of solutions and almost none of them have been tried.
    Did you hear that people, it is not a mature field. Who knows where we might go. Did Charles Babbage and Alan Turing know that their ideas would one day allow someone to hear Barry Manilow's "Mandy" every time their cell phone rings? Makes you think...
    Just as an aside, I think John Pike may be the devil. I mean literally. Try to get these two quotes to mesh:
    Doubter though he may be, Mr. Pike, who is the director of Alexandria, Virginia-based consultancy, laments the apparent dearth of VC interest in the field. “These are not venture-grade investments, they are adventure-grade investments,” he says. “But if you can’t put five percent of your portfolio into an adventure-grade investment, then you are someone who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.”

    Mr. Pike scoffs [at Elon Musk]. “The best way to make a small fortune in space is to start with a large fortune,” he says. “The history of the space age is littered with people who wanted to start rocket companies. Most never actually fly anything, while the rest usually blow up one rocket and then go bankrupt. It’s been happening continuously for 25 years.”

    Yeah John, that should help bring out the investors.

  • Out of the cradle has an interview with Dr. Paul Spudis, Lunar expert extraordinaire

  • US Space News says the James Webb Space Telescope is about to slip 1-2 years to the right. What! NASA slips a schedule? You lie! (he-he) note the US Space News: Get permalinks please

  • Tricia Ware, the marketing writer for the New Mexico Economic Development Department, has a new blog on the New Mexico Spaceport.

  • The Mercury News has an article on the lunar armada of many different countries headed to the moon.

  • India plans on doubling their space business in the next two years.

  • The Ukraine is looking for ways to "develop the space industry". President Victor Yushchenko says "this industry was a synonym to the word “progress” all over the world." Well most of the world anyway...

  • [Update 8:55am] has an article on Public Space Travel: Building the Business Case. Good read.

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