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« The War In The Media | Main | The Impossible Dream »

Au Revoir

Taking off from the conference to St. Louis for a family barbecue. Thoughts on the space conference later. Meanwhile Instapundit has a few more posts, with more to come, as does Jeff Foust. And Leonard David has an article about space diving, which may be a killer app for cheap suborbital vehicles like Armadillo's.

Posted by Rand Simberg at May 27, 2007 06:24 AM
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A quote from Glenn Reynolds at ISDC:

I had a good time -- I used to be stuck in Board meetings at these things, but this time I actually got to enjoy the conference.I had dinner with Bob Zubrin -- author of The Case for Mars and a forthcoming book on energy policy and how to destroy Opec -- who is shown below explaining the superiority of Methanol as an alternative fuel.

Destroy OPEC as a strategy for wining the war on radical Islamic nut-jobs? Switch to methanol so we can stop sending gadzillions of dollars to Saudi Arabia and their Wahabi school system?

Wow! What a great idea!

Posted by Bill White at May 27, 2007 01:17 PM

Glenn also reports that Virgin Galactic is in talks with Bigelow Aerospace for the construction of a space hotel. Also that Virgin Galactic will initially charge around 200K but they expect the price to drop to 100K or less relativey shortly!

Posted by Sam at May 28, 2007 08:34 AM

Sam, I assume that the $200K --> $100K is for suborbital, not an orbital flight to that Bigelow hotel.

= = =

In addition, to jump-start low cost Earth-to-LEO travel I could readily support Congress spending the tax dollars needed to pay the launch costs needed to deploy a genuine Bigelow hotel (or three) in LEO.

Loan guarantees would be my preferred route, meaning the US government would assure repayment of any commercial loans Bigelow needs to buy launchers for placing that hotel in LEO.

I would then add this wrinkle:

IF tourists travel to that hotel on Earth-to-LEO lift that is made in America THEN the US Treasury pays the market rate for two week's stay at the hotel -- in other words, fly American and the LEO hotel room is paid for by Uncle Sam.

However, tourists are welcome to fly ANY launch vehicle they wish, including Soyuz and Shenzou, but if they fly non-American lift they need to pay rent for at a schedule that can repay Bigelow's investment.

Under these circumstances, might LM deploy an Atlas V crew taxi at a low enough cost to offer tourists a LEO stay for less than Soyuz PLUS hotel rent? If yes, then NASA can buy these by the dozen for ISS crew transfers, saving billions over using CEV for ISS crew transfers.

Posted by Bill White at May 28, 2007 08:49 AM

Sounds like fun, but at the 120,000 foot level, wouldn't it be a damned sight easier and cheaper to use high altitude balloons? Down the road, if you wan to jump from, say, 300,000 feet - a rocket is what you'll want.

Posted by The Pathetic Earthling at May 28, 2007 10:34 AM

As for space-diving, that JP Aerospace high altitude station seems an idea platform. Dark Sky Station at 140,000 feet:

Jumping out of a moving suborbital rocket might be a little more difficult.

Posted by Bill White at May 28, 2007 02:30 PM

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