4 thoughts on “The Year Of Commercial Space Travel”

  1. Instapundit linked to your AOL article, and also linked to one of his from 2008, saying, “I told you so.” It’s a pretty good read.

    I attended a lot of those conferences back when they were geekfests with an ambience that was half Star Trek convention, half revival meeting. They were fun, and the discussions were often informative, but participants were for the most part on the outside looking in. There was a lot of political discussion, aimed mostly at getting NASA to do the right thing, and at getting Congress to fund NASA to do the right thing, but not a lot of other action.

    When my daughter was born in 1995, I quit going for over a decade. I wasn’t uninterested, just busy. Recently, though, I attended two conventions—in 2007 and 2008—and discovered that things are different today. From geekfests (not that there’s anything wrong with that), the conferences have evolved into something more like the meeting of a professional or trade association. The crowd is better dressed, and often working in the field: one woman I remembered from years back as an activist with Students for the Exploration and Development of Space is now a professor of astronautics at MIT; another former student space activist now coordinates space matters for Google. And truly rich private sector enthusiasts are as conspicuous by their presence now as they were by their absence a decade or two ago.

Comments are closed.