I've come to the conclusion that the most important organization in the future of space travel is not NASA or the China National Space Administration. It's the British company Virgin, run by Richard Branson. Last year, Branson and Virgin successfully bankrolled the first privately-funded space flight. I thought that was incredible enough, but now he's inked a deal to create a space port in Roswell, New Mexico. in five years, the port should be ready to launch weekly three-hour spaceflights for wealthy tourists. Yes, Roswell. Could that be any more perfect? And in case you think it won't be successful, the new company Virgin Galactic has already taken in fourteen million in pre-orders and has 38,700 pre-registered, including William Shatner and Signourney Weaver. This is too exciting for words. The idea of private spaceflights is something that people have dreamed of for decades. I probably won't be able to go, but that would make a great IMAX movie. Okay, so maybe this kind of thing should be commonplace, considering it's 2005. But it's better than nothing. Screw you, NASA. Go float some frogs.
My memorial on Spaceship One's first flight