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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.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Micro-Documentary on Spaceports

Where is Your Nearest Spaceport?

Micro-Documentary by The Futures Channel Provides a Look at a New Generation of Launch Facilities

Burbank, CA -- Whether you’re talking about privately owned and operated rockets to ferry cargo to low earth orbit, or the prepaid customers in line for the opportunity to weightlessly gaze upon Earth from outer space, the “personal spaceflight revolution” will bring a new infrastructure element to our communities: Spaceports.

“Spaceports,” a micro-documentary released today by The Futures Channel, provides a down-to-earth look at this new generation of launch facilities. To date, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has licensed commercial spaceports in five states.

Going on location in New Mexico and Mojave, California, the short video features interviews with FAA Associate Administrator Patricia Grace Smith, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, Alex Tai, Vice President of Operations at Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and two-time Space Shuttle Pilot and one-time Space Shuttle Commander Rick Searfoss, among others.

“This film treats viewers to an inspiring preview of coming attractions of the launch facilities and spaceships that will enable the era of space tourism and public space travel. ‘Spaceports’ reveals how the private sector and bold entrepreneurs are bringing innovation and new ideas to an area that has traditionally been the domain of government-sponsored programs,” said Alan Ladwig, Manager of Space Systems for WBB Consulting. Widely regarded as a space outreach pioneer, Ladwig, as an associate administrator at NASA in the 1990’s, spearheaded the agency’s Teacher in Space Program.

Accompanying the video is a “Critical Thinking” section which poses questions that professionals have to consider in planning and building spaceports, and which invites viewers to take part in the discussion. Like other Futures Channel movies, “Spaceports” is designed to enhance interest in math and science by putting those subjects into a larger real-world context, in this case space exploration.

“With captivating video of space travel, simulations, and interviews with experts, students will learn about the exciting opportunities that lie ahead in the emerging personal spaceflight industry,” Ladwig added.

The Futures Channel was founded in 1999 with the goal of using new media technologies to create a channel between the scientists, engineers, explorers and visionaries who are shaping the future, and today’s learners who will one day succeed them.

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