[FPSPACE] SpaceShipOne's 3rd flight

Chris Faranetta chris.faranetta at verizon.net
Tue Oct 5 09:35:17 EDT 2004

Yes there were a lot of statements  yesterday  which made me grimace and made  the office hum glory glory  halleluiah.  

-----Original Message-----
From: DwayneDay <zirconic1 at earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2004 09:20:52 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
To:fpspace at friends-partners.org
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] SpaceShipOne's 3rd flight

-----Original Message-----
From: Constantine Domashnev <cdomashnev at acm.org>
Sent: Oct 5, 2004 8:57 AM

>The pricetag of 100K for such a ride is quite reasonable and affordable from 
the Client's perspective.

According to this article:


Branson intends to buy five craft for $100 million and charge $200K per flight, each flight providing 3 minutes of weightlessness.

I am somewhat dubious of the market for this.  Is there really a sustainable market at that price for such a short payoff?  Certainly there is a space tourist market, but exactly where the demand/cost curve is located is the big question.  (And before anybody replies that Branson knows what he is doing, I'd point out that there have been a lot of failed commercial space projects conducted by people who "knew what they were doing.")

I see a lot of space enthusiasts being overcome by hype and exaggeration in all of this.  It's a great accomplishment, yes, but are lunar Hiltons right around the corner?  Probably not.

The article has some other interesting quotes.  For instance, when pilot Binnie landed he said "I wake every morning and just thank God that I live in a country where this is possible," I swear that he took that quote from the movie "The Right Stuff."

Branson also praised Rutan as "the most brilliant aviation engineer of the last century," which is certainly a bit of hyperbole.  Kelly Johnson, anyone?  The Wright Brothers?!!


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