Call it unbridled optimism, the coolest thing you’ve ever heard, or just plain silliness. I’m not sure where I come down on the matter yet. But the fact is that folks around the country are avidly, aggressively wanting to build space ports, yes you read that correctly, airports that take you into space, so that we can all, someday, hopefully before I die, travel into the great black void and come back to tell about it.
Of course, much of the enthusiasm is warranted. Burt Rutan, the business space pioneer proved recently that one could take a commercial vehicle to the edge of the atmosphere. He won the famous X-prize doing so, thereby showing that civilian space travel was possible. So now, based largely on that and some other efforts to build space craft for mostly high-paying customers, the Federal Aviation Administration says it is reviewing proposals from New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas to be gateways for private space travel. Of course, it helps everyone if a spaceport is in a rather barren place. No one wants to be hit on the head when one of these things inevitably comes down.
But it is cool, I think, that we seem to be edging close to this idea of civilian space flight. I know the costs are going to be ridiculously high at first – like $100,000 – $200,000 a person – but man oh man, I’d go in a heartbeat if I had the cashola. So lets keep our fingers crossed, eh?