I've been reading a lot lately about the privately funded launch of an experimental spacecraft. I'm sure you've all read it too. How could you miss it? I suppose it doesn't always make front page. Maybe you were sick that week, out of it, in a comma? No? But then most of the articles only start out talking about the spaceship itself and eventually return to everyone's favorite topic; when do I get to go into space? How much is it going to cost? Who's going to offer the first space flights for under a million dollars? Even if there were such a thing, how could I ever possibly afford to take a jaunt into space? One hundred thousand dollars? Fifty thousand? Thirty? The guesses at possible prices are still in the stratosphere. For what is possibly not much more than a carnival ride, that's some E ticket!
Still, I don't think its the ticket price that will be keeping me back. I don't want a seat on that space line, no sir. I want my own rocket, my own spaceship one. It could be spaceship two, I don't care, just as long as I have it. I would park it in my own space hanger in my backyard and launch from my driveway. Forget all those science-fiction books where everyone drives/flies little aerocars, I want my own solar hopping space buggy. I want to travel to the moon for a picnic, and I want it now!
This is what really drives the privateers in the search for space. Its not the overpriced tickets, the hotel stays in orbit or even the far fetch mining of the asteroid belt. Sure, those make good headlines, and seem to put some purpose to it all. But the real truth is that the scientists, the engineers, the bank rollers for this venture only have one thing in mind, really, and that's a spaceship in their garage!
Let's make it so!