Monday, October 04, 2004


History was made this morning when SpaceShipOne flew for the second time in four days, it also won the ten million dollar Ansari X prize. The maximum altitude, or apogee, was measured at 368,000 feet, 11,000 feet greater than the record of 357,00 feet set in the 1960s for a plane launched craft. I watched it on TV live and felt just like I did in 1969 when the US landed on the moon. My first thought today was "We have got to keep doing this!" The whole purpose of the Ansari X prize is to encourage further development of civilian space flight. NASA has become too cautious because society has become too cautious. We gain nothing when we risk nothing. The old adage of "nothing ventured, nothing gained" really does apply in this case. During the 1960s when NASA was working to reach the moon everyone involved knew there was a chance someone could die and accepted the risk. Nowadays it seems the last thing the general public wants is any risk. It almost seem they think the knowledge we would gain from space exploration is not worth the risk to anyone. I guess it all depends on ones perspective.

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