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« Yes, And So? | Main | Keeping An Eye Out »

Open Letter to George Bush

Dear Mr. President,

I want to bring to your attention a major opportunity to get people thinking about the future in the only area of federal activity you threatened a veto: Space. There are new opportunities for ordinary citizens to fly into space. Major industrialists Jeff Bezos, Paul Allen, Elon Musk, George French, John Carmack and Jeff Greason have all started rocket companies to carry ordinary citizens into space for far less than the $20 million price to fly on the Russian Soyuz. You have the potential for a major win here. These industrialists will beat China and NASA back to the Moon. Anyone can buy an entry into a skill game for $3.50 to win a trip to space at my web site

Take some credit for the good news.


Sam Dinkin
SpaceShot, Inc.
3101 Lating Stream Lane
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 750-1751 Sound
(512) 347-9149 Image

Posted by Sam Dinkin at April 27, 2006 04:16 PM
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I don't see what exactly Mr. Dinkin wants the President to do.

Posted by Mark R. Whittington at April 27, 2006 08:50 PM


Duh, sign up and play the game!



Posted by Dennis Ray Wingo at April 27, 2006 09:50 PM

Gee Mark, maybe the notion of putting one's money where one's mouth is might apply ... after all, you *are* such a big time Republican private sector fan - why not take a chance and make an investment ...

Oh wait, you are a cynic ... never mind.

Posted by Keith Cowing at April 27, 2006 10:39 PM

Dink? are you creating a future allegory?

The problem is that bush "threatened" veto on 2 highway bills then caved, he threatened a veto "based" on some of the ammendments to "no child left behind" but he caved, he threatened a veto of the $87 billion, how about that? he threatened to veto emergency military expenditures, and while he got MORE, he still caved. He threatened to veto the energy bill twice, and had it withdrawn before a vote.

Threatening? he's good at, actually making people show their cards? he's bad at.

As far as space? best way to play the hand? is to BUY IN! and no state agency has has the nuts to do that yet. If your point is to challenge the administration to ante up, then thats different. They haven't, every "award" effort in the last 20 years has been a JOKE!

Personaly, I LIKE the "award" system, I think it's important. I think that a 20 million dollar US Gub insured X-prizish sort of play is a good way to FORCE competition, but there needs to be MEASURABLE statistics, JUST LIKE THE X-PRIZE(pardon the caps, I'm pissed at gore thinking he's a friggen scientific genius, when he gave it to the x-. . . . .was it 33? the pancake? when the award was a friggen subsidy, hidden as a reward)

If we want SStO? 2, 40 million dollar RESEARCH rewards to the first two companies able to achieve, realistic orbital vehicles. BLAH BLAH BLAH

the point? the X-prize that rutan got was a joke. the rules were to fixed, and to absolute. That just shows how stupid investors, and insurers are. Rutan built a Single Stage to "space" plane that is useless after it's second or third use, and can't do anything more than show the curvature of the earth.

Engineer's, when they need funding? they do the math. Create a "March Madness" bracket of Spacefaring on a national level.

and you will find 15 year olds BEGGING for a chance to be THAT GUY, and you will have first year engineering applyicants to MIT more qualified than juniors.

Not ONE boy in the US doesn't look into the sky and say to himself "I will be the first to that star!" NOT ONE!!!

We were first, we were best, and we are decadent, and WE ARE HUNGRY for who we were.

Totaly crazy organization of thoughts, but, don't set ONE goal for the reward, but create TIERS, BRACKETS! The ultimate goal is my grandchildren being born on a ship, and touching land on a distant star? and saying to themselves "this is home" That is the DESTINY of man, that is our legacy, that is, if there is a god, why we have been given the faculties we are so sadly wasting.


I can stream of consc, this crap for months, without sleeping, and it will get crazier and crazier each our.

ultimately, my point.

The PURPOSE of humanity? Is to touch the sky, to touch space, to hold the moon, mars, and every other planet and moon we can USE so that one day?

A day that I will never know, one day, it will be mankind that spreads out, and touch a land that we can create a new earth, and repeat it all over again, only the next time? it will be much more efficient.

Posted by wickedpinto at April 27, 2006 10:44 PM

Sorry, I'm on about my 50th hour of wakefulness. . . .kinda, I think I slept, but not much. Theres are things I don't remember in the last 2 days, but I work very hard to be honest about my sleep deprived insanity :)

Posted by wickedpinto at April 27, 2006 10:49 PM

I think the prez has much more important things on his mind right now, like banning abortion and starting civil wars.

Posted by at April 28, 2006 12:42 AM

Nice job, anonymous troll.

Posted by Nick B. at April 28, 2006 01:49 AM

I think the President should have a New Space event on the White House lawn.

Posted by Sam Dinkin at April 28, 2006 04:02 AM

Dennis, Keith, I'm not being cynical, simply asking a question. Sam's "open letter" was just a bit ambiguous as to what exactly he wanted the President to do. I support all space entrepeneurial ventures, so there is really no need to get all snarky.

Sam, Thanks for the clarification. Actually not a bad idea. Say, a space tourism event with some of the major players or have Elon Musk over as soon as he gets his Falcon 1 aloft.

Posted by Mark R. Whittington at April 28, 2006 04:38 AM


I don't know how many more times SpaceShipOne could've flown (I don't know how you do, either), but remember, it was in that category of flying machine we call 'experimental.' (What was the name of that prize, again?)

And 'just' the curvature of the Earth is more than most of us have seen first hand. We're not all the late Scott Crossfield, or those like him.

The X-Prize did exactly what it was supposed to do. It helped get the ball rolling. I strongly suspect there are more startups (and more of those, farther along in their efforts) because of it. It showed what was possible *without* government money. Now let's make it practical as well. It appears that people will pay for a similar experience. Let events flow from there....

Posted by Frank Glover at April 28, 2006 02:36 PM

Frank, yes.

It proved that private enterprise could accomplish the very things strictly defined within a prize worth 10 million dollars, at the cost of more than 50 million dollars (or rather 50 million in general investment) so that they can win the prize, grow in acclaim, and collect even more venture capital to accomplish. . .. . . .

What? What is the current project for rutans little toys?

I wasn't bashing the creators, I'm saying create BIG BIG BIG competitions that last beyond the generation.

Posted by wickedpinto at April 30, 2006 01:37 AM

I hit enter too soon.

Basicaly, where is the "by the end of the decade" declaration or challenge being issued by the NEW challenger?

X prize was fascinating to see it won, I don't like about that, but, now that that is done? Where is the SStO prize? Where are the escape velocity prizes? where are the re-usable vehicles to construct prize? where are the "space elevator construction rocket cranes" prize or any of the other major breakthroughs we need to be a spacefaring nation/planet?

Other than deep in, non supported questions, there have been no real challenges.

I think the state could serve a purpose in that.

The state could say, "SSRtO prize worth 100 million dollars reward" They gave 50 mil to the pancake, why can't they offer 100 mil to a single state reusable to orbit prize?

Posted by wickedpinto at April 30, 2006 01:43 AM

Lindberg pursued a prize that may well (I've not researched the matter) have involved less than he committed to the design and construction of his aircraft. And that, too, is a 'toy,' compared to the commercial transoceanic aircraft of today. But it showed that non-stop trans-atlantic flight was at least possible to acheive with private efforts.

Understand, I'd love to see more/bigger COTS and other prizes for bigger goals (if the government can be trusted to pay off to a winner), but that BIG, BIG prize for most is summed in one word:


Show people that something's possible, practical and there's money in it, then (for good or ill), it tends to happen, and keep happening. Which is *why* we have everyday, large scale, self-sustaining trans-oceanic and trans-continental commercial air travel. That prize (successful competition) has already been won.

But, like Scaled and other startups, it also began with a lot of small guys, all the way back to those two in a bicycle shop...

BTW, you have to have relatively strict definitions of winning, no matter how big a prize is (indeed, the bigger the prize, the clearer the rules need to be), else how do you know if you've won?

Posted by Frank Glover at May 3, 2006 03:09 PM

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