June 21, 2004

Science Fiction Moment

Feeling generally crappy today, developed a cough, and decided to slouch around the apartment all day. But there's good news!

In pretty much every science fiction story written since about 1940, space has figured pretty strongly. Most acknowledged that the elbow of the progress curve would be about when private interests started successfully attaining space.

Well, here we are, then. A team based in California has made a reusable spaceship and a reusable launch plane, and piloted the sucker above the accepted "space boundary" of 100km/62mi. It was in flight for about 90 minutes before reentering the atmosphere, and glided to a landing in the Mojave Desert. They'll probably make an attempt at the coveted X Prize later this year.

The downside is that the Republicans will probably use this as an excuse to defund NASA. :P But even so, we're (finally) moving into a whole new era of space exploration; we may soon see the fulfillment of some of the promises given to our parents' generation in the 60s.

"We teach these children, not because they are Catholic, but because we are." --Dr Mary MacDonald

Posted by blahedo at 3:46pm on 21 Jun 2004
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