19 September, 2005

The elevator to the moon

A company called Liftport has recently gotten FAA approval to create a prototype for a space elevator. While they'll only be travelling a mile from the ground, it's amazing to see yet another company working on making money to get stuff into space.

I had seen the LiftPort website a while back, and I thought it would never even get this far! With all of these companies working on getting into space (and in my opinion, many of them doing so partly because the head has always dreamt about going there), NASA isn't as important as it once was. With the Cold War fuelling the original space race, it's always been a bit touch and go since it ended. Arthur C Clarke imagined the governments playing a much more active role in space-travel in his 2001 series. And yet it's 2005, and the present is very different.

With the government working on ensuring no loss of life ever happens again because of the Columbia mistakes (I saw this on a commercial for a documentary with that quote coming from someone in NASA), I'm convinced the American government is setting it's space department up for self-detruction. Mistakes will happen people will die. If the airplane industry closed down shop everytime someone died in a plane, we would still be travelling by boat. So with NASA crippling itself, I'm damn glad that many companies are stepping up with ways to get into space and on what to do in space. Sure most of them will fail, but with so many seriously trying to do it, one of them is sure to succeed.


Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

I had seen the LiftPort website a while back, and I thought it would never even get this far!

Never underestimate a stubborn Scot-American. My ancestors faced Indians, tornados, floods, forest fire and Baptists.

A stubborn technical/business problem is nothing.

3:46 pm  

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