What He Said

Wretchard of The Belmont Club has a pitch-perfect take on next Monday’s launch of Bert Rutan’s Spaceship One. If Rutan’s team is successful (and I will bet you good money they will be), Monday will mark the first-ever non-governmental manned space flight.

I wish I could be there to see it. I wish even more that I could go along for the ride.

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13 Responses to “What He Said”

  1. wineguy Says:

    Second ride for me. Not that I’m chicken or anything……

  2. Jody Says:

    What are the rules for calling shotgun on a space flight?

  3. Frank Martin Says:

    The word from some of my fellow homebuilders is that Mojave has turned into a modern woodstock for the technorati for this event. All hotel space, RV space and key locations on the roadside have already either filled up completely or they have scant space left. To say the air is electric with anticipation doesnt begin to catpure what the feeling is like there.

    We live in a country where entire cable networks are dedicated to the “do it yourself” industry where average people take on projects far beyond their skills and temperment. We crave customization, we pride ourselves in our ability to create our own vision of the world ( I say this while our host is engaged in the process of creating a new kitchen). No where else in the world do people think that they can just “do things”.

    At the Air and Space museum in DC there are two aircraft that you see as you walk inside, one is the kitty hawk flyer, built not by scientists or government funds but by two ohio bicycle mechanics. That aircraft changed the world.

    Behind that, you see the voyager, first to fly around the world nonstop without refueling, designed, built and flown by two brothers. The fact that the voyager team accomplished its goal without the use of government funds, set the ground work for what will surely be the next entry into the air and space museum – SpaceShipOne.

    Only in America – would people think they could just go and ‘Do things”.

  4. ed Says:

    Having had a front row seat for Voyager lift off, I am greatly disappointed to not be able to see the initial lift off of this one. Once it flies, I’m certain Rutan will turn the keys over to a very capable financier, who will be posting ads whoknowswhere.
    Electric atmosphere? Hmmm…I bet it’s more like it’s ionized!

    Ed

  5. Mark Says:

    Frank,

    Excellent sentiment, but just having returned from DC and having visited the Air & Space, the Wright Flyer has it’s own display on the second floor in a room dedicated to early American aviation. Voyager is in the main hall, but at the rear entrance. Maybe it’s changes since you’ve last been.

    And dammit, would I love to be in the Mojave to witness history,

    Mark

  6. Robin Goodfellow Says:

    I am reminded of “Star Trek: First Contact”. In a movie filled with warp drives, cyborgs, beam weapons, transporters, etc, an “ordinary” rocket launch still manages to steal the show. There’s just something about the gees and the risk and the raw contact with adventure that makes it so compelling.

  7. Frank Martin Says:

    I havent been to “the shrine” in a few years I think it was 1998(maybe?) I was on a business trip to baltimore that ended faster than expected, I took the train over and made a beeline for the air and space museum, a place I had always wanted to go, but had never had the opportunity to visit before. I was completely blown away by the experience. When I was last there, the fuselage of the Enola Gay was on display in a section off to the right of the entrance. as you entered the room that held the enola gay, everyone started to talk in hushed tones. It was amazaing to me how that bit of metal was treated with such quiet reverence, as if speaking loudly would call down the wrath of the plane itself.

    After spending 7 years sanding and shaping fiberglass and styrofoam in an alternately all too hot and all to cold hangar to create my own Rutan designed flying machine, I found it quite a thrill to reach up and run my hands on the bottom of the unpainted wings of Voyager.

    whoops, I better stop or we will be entering the realm of what my wife politely calls “Air Porn”.

  8. Frank Martin Says:

    Just in case anyones looking for details on the big show itself:
    http://www.mojaveairport.com/special-ops.htm

  9. John Beck Says:

    Start saving your pennies Will, space tourism is a decade away or less.

  10. Ian Argent Says:

    I was just at the A&S annex out near dulles. They have, front and center on entrance, a Blackbird. Most of the space is warbirds of various eras. But a goodly chunk is homebuilt or general aviation.

  11. TechnoChitlins Says:

    Counting Down

    I found this on VodkaPundit in the comments to a post by Will Collier talking up the upcoming flight of…

  12. Garrett Says:

    ‘Air Porn’. LOL.

    Frank said it better than I could, so I just toss in an ‘Amen’.

  13. Frank Martin Says:

    Update: Mike Melville has been picked as the pilot ( shh, hear that? its me sounding shocked and surprised) Mike Melville has been around Rutan since the days of the “Rutan Aircraft Factory” and is one of the finest gentleman I’ve ever met. He is a pilots pilot and a professional of the nth degree.

    Mike started working with composite canard aircraft with a design known as a “Cozy” ( a side -by-side seating version of the Long Eze style of aircraft), designed by a man named Nat Puffer.

    The word I have from here in Seattle is that the launch will be covered live ( 6:30 AM PST) by local affiliates, but I also understand that MSNBC will be covering it was well.

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