Space.com (July 18, 2009)
"Forty years after the first moon landing on July 20, 1969, SPACE.com asked Apollo astronauts and leaders of the space community to ponder the past, present and future. Planetary scientist Alan Stern, a former NASA associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, forecasts that humans will make it back to the moon in the coming decades and that space travel will be something that everyone (even himself) will do...."
The rest of this article is an interview, in Q & A format, with Alan Stern. I gives on man's (informed) opinion on where we are in the development of commercial spaceflight, including tourism, and where we seem to be headed.
For me, this is an exciting topic. I was born in the Truman administration, remember news coverage of the first Sputnik, and followed the Apollo 11 mission in my first summer after high school. I'm still interested in America's shuttle fleet - although those aging freighters are due for retirement.
If interest in the International Space Station continues - and half of what Mr. Stern discusses happens - I don't think it will be long before cost-effective cargo haulers and passenger craft are available for suborbital and Earth-orbit missions. After that, there are opportunities for using the moon as a source for materials to build orbiting power station, observatories far removed from urban light pollution: today, quite literally, "the sky's the limit."
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(June 20, 2009)
- "Doing Something for a Much Larger Reason"
(December 22, 2008)
- "Spaceport America: Still Open for Business"
(November 6, 2008)
- "Spaceport Development Tax on Otero County Ballot"
(November 5, 2008)
- "Spaceport America: It's Real, and Open for Business"
(October 26, 2008)
- "Spaceports: the Blog"
(October 26, 2008)
- "Dubai Architecture: A Photo Gallery"
(October 25, 2008)
- Review of a post by someone who wasn't aware that a commercial spaceport was already in operation.