Edited because for some reason part of this journal was cut off
I've been meaning to write about the destruction of SpaceShip Two and the loss of the Antares resupply rocket that preceded it, but the time and the words just weren't there. Here's my stab it at now.
When SpaceShip Two disintegrated in midair on Halloween, the hand-wringing about the cost in lives for what was dubbed a frivolous venture began almost immediately. I should have been shocked, but to be honest, I wasn't. When you push the boundaries of human experience, people die. Both men in that cockpit knew that. One died, and the other lived only because of a freak accident of the way the craft broke up at supersonic velocity. I wasn't even shocked about the hand-wringing and whinging about people spending blood and treasure to send rich people into space on a suborbital hop. What put the hook in me was that it wasn't the lives lost, but lives lost for rich people. Well that's just beyond the pale.
I'm not rich. I'm about as far from rich as you get and still be able to do what I do on DA. I honestly don't give a fuck that Justin Beiber can reserve a ticket with Virgin Galactic for a flight when the project is finally ready to start taking paying passengers. In fact, I'm glad a smarmy prick like the Beeb can fork over 250,000 simoleons for the ride, because it's smarmy pricks like him who finance all those great things we take for granted like air travel and mobile phones and bring in the advancements and competition that make them safe, affordable, and useful to the rest of us mortals. After 50 years of failed State run efforts to get us into space - and I mean really get us there, to where we have hundreds, even thousands of people in low orbit and beyond on a continual basis - private efforts like Virgin Galactic, Orbital Sciences, SpaceX seem to be our only hope. The pilots of SpaceShip 2 understood that.
If I had 250 G's to drop on a seat next to Justin Beiber, I'd do it even if the ride was still "Experimental."