Monday, 18 June 2012

Space Tourism, for rich Star-Trek fans

Space seems like a flight of fancy and probably is with NASA closing its shuttle program in 2011 leaving other countries to progress in their missions. When the first shuttle launched its jet like form boosted by two solid fuel propellers like fire works to a paper dart. The complications and faults that followed resulted in a explosion in the sky with challenger killing 7 astronauts. The main problem of O ring seals in the solid fuel rockets failing to keep hold of the hot gases within the rocket may have ignited the external tank.
Despite warnings from engineers the shuttle did launch 0n January 28 1986. There seemed a lot riding on this mission as Christa McAuliffe the first member for teachers in space program was on board.

The president Ronald Reagan had a clear mission to inspire students and Honor teachers in the field of science and space exploration. A few years earlier President Reagan spoke of research into a defense program, his speech in 1982 spoke of a strategic defense initiative.
The ground and space based systems would ultimately knock Ballistic missiles out of their trajectory path, thus avoiding nuclear detonation at their intended target in the U.S. It was highly ambitious and was widely criticized as being unrealistic and unscientific. Often remarked as controversial topic as it threaten to destabilize and reignite an arms race. But under Bill Clinton's administration the media named Star wars initiative was rename further to Ballistic missile defense organization. This paved a way into anti ballistic missiles. Though current ABM's are for short range missiles and not suited or intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Looking into the shuttle program spurred on by a president who had ambitious plans for the exploration of space. This was a plan that didn't continue, plagued with faulty equipment and later a crippling debt, which reduced NASA to a shadow of its former self. NASA has now gone into meetings with the Federal Aviation Association to discuss plans for a commercial space travel. The ambitious plan would hopefully launch in 2017. Space travel talks have been planed and may refer space obit and the International space station for leisure purposes.
Backed by the Obama administration NASA and FAA have signed a memorandum to regulate a safe stable framework for commercial space travel. NASA will be ensuring crew and mission safety while the FAA will be in charge of licensing private sectors and providing a crew for the flights. Safety has been highlighted for this venture, with NASA providing valuable experience from lessons in the past.

Meanwhile virgin galactic had a successful flight on their white knight mother ship transporters. Already they have announced plans to build a space port in New Mexico. It might be possible that future space exploration is funded by commercial space tourism.

The Obama administration has backed this in hope that it will create new jobs and other opportunities. Personally I think will add to the pollution and possible target for terror strike. But funding might help in producing commercial factories, as space is a unique environment to improve the quality of silicon wafers in the electronics industry. I have a suspicion that this knock on effect will create new opportunity. Whether it leads us to a future where we colonize the moon or something is up to the success of space tourism. But considering exposure to harsh radiation in space, possible danger in the flight out there and tickets costing at $200,000 a seat. I think I might sit this space adventure out,  so I can have a decent cheap holiday at the local beach.

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