Subject: Re: Tom W. Bell paper
From: simo <>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 14:42:43 -0400

On Tue, 2006-09-12 at 11:25 -0700, Thomas Lord wrote:
> You should notice, simo, that Scaled Composites has
> competitors, that the Xprize is an example of private
> demand,

I have some difficult time considering something like the Ansari X Prize
as private demand.

>   that the industry is larger than just quick hops
> into manned low-earth orbit, that you can go book a ticket
> with Virgin (and have a much greater chance of flying
> than you would have with Pan Am, back in the day),

So what?
I am not denying that once the time comes business can enter a field and

> that SC  seems to be eating its own dog-food wrt
> terrestrial spin-offs, and that the amount of private
> pre-profitability investment in for-profit ventures is
> growing by leaps and bounds.    I suppose you could
> say that all of these enterprises comprise a big investment
> bubble that is doomed to collapsein ignominy

Not at all, I am just saying that the industry that is about to born
could have never existed without the billions spend by governments to do
all the basic research needed to create the basis for space business.
All Xprize contenders didn't had to go back and reinvent rockets or
space ships form scratch, they didn't pay for all the research that
created the technology they used to day to do the last little step.

I don;t know if the times are ready for real business in space, I think
we may get closer once scramjets will come to life and getting into the
stratosfere will not only be affordable but the normal way to travel
between continents.

>  but before
> you trumpet that too loudly you ought to take a second
> glance at alternatives like NASA and various other nationalized
> space programs.

I'm not sure why you say "nationalized", all the space programs I know
are national space programs and would never have seen the light if they
weren't heavily funded by their governments. The cost are so high that
in Europe we had to create the European Space Agency in order to gather
enough money from all the governments to be able to have a decent space
program and yet we have merely one rocket (Arianne series) and not even
a manned capsule available.