Are they planning on putting this spaceport anywhere near Rosswell?? Might even name it Area 52 ;)
The Branson biz empire's suborbital-tourism-for-the-wealthy operation, Virgin Galactic, yesterday unveiled the architectural designs for its rocket-ship terminal at Spaceport America, the nascent commercial space base in New Mexico. A cutaway view of the futuristic cowpat-styled terminal. The designs chosen were put together …
"The Branson biz empire's suborbital-tourism-for-the-wealthy operation"
Can we PLEASE drop all this class warfare crap just for once? Nearly EVERYTHING starts out as "for the wealthy" and then becomes commoditised later. Sea travel, cars, air travel. Hell even indoor toilets used to be a sign of wealth and 'breeding' at one time.
It makes it very hard for me to take the article seriously when the first _line_ is dripping with such apparent hatred and envy.
No, let's keep up the class warfare. The _ONLY_ reason things like this eventually become available to the general public is precisely because people constantly rail against the rich and privileged, forcing them to lower the bar or risk eventual civil unrest. The day we all sit back and calmly accept the haves/have-nots situation is the day the have-nots will never again have anything filter down to them.
Hatred and envy have a purpose in human culture. They maintain the balance, and without them we would all just be passive sheep blindly accepting whatever conditions the ruling class chose to force on us - and we'd all still be living in Pharaonic Egypt as a result. Without class angst, you would not even have a computer or internet access to be able to posit your view to the world, for the very reasons I've mentioned above. You'd be weeding cabbages and hauling stone blocks instead.
Thing 1: "become available to the general public is precisely because people constantly rail against the rich and privileged, forcing them to lower the bar or risk eventual civil unrest." - Steve Roper
I respectfully disagree. The dirver is the economic growth. You cannot achieve growth if you limit yourself to a small group of exclusive customers. You will become a niche boutique and evertually go under because of the competition. So you have to grow sales and for that you need a broader group of customers, so lower price per units but more units sold. That's the driver.
Thing 2: I am disappointed with the design. It is just an another modern airport terminal with oversized business lounge.
The modern faceless airports and lounges are there to make your journey as unremarkable and easy as possible, so that you don't think of it as anything special (which is good and it's precisely what you want from a piece of public infrastructure).
The space hops are supposed to be a unique experience, so it would have been much better if they made it look like a bunch of prefabs on trailers and concrete bunkers with olive drab painted equipment scattered around.
$200K for sub orbital jaunt back to where you started, hardly progress. A fraction of that used to buy a flight on Concorde which actually got you to somewhere, flying at a height on the "edge of space", and I'm sure they could have chucked in a bit of zero G if the passengers really wanted it.
Come back when you can make orbit - that's proper space.
I see nothing wrong with this line. The featured enterprise is merely a very expensive fairground ride. Unlike cars, sea and air travel, there is no actual use for this mode of transport (think Yorkshire Airlines). Even the price tag is too low to generate the necessary profit for more research in to future service expansion (orbital and beyond).
So it would seem that Mr Page has it spot on with that sentence, a bit of fun at an exceedingly high price.
Also, be aware that class and wealth, while not mutually exclusive, do not correlate (in the UK anyway). Becoming wealthy does not raise your social class, ever heard the derogatory term "nouveau riche"?
"...with the state of pollution as it is already?..."
Really now... Who cares? They could run flights 24/7/52, and still not match the pollution coming off all the crap lawnmowers on an average sunny weekend. For that matter, cows are pooting out more methane greenhouse gasses every day than this operation would put out in a decade of operation.