The new issue of Air & Space Smithsonian features a look at the future of spaceports, bases for space tourism that are being proposed all over the world, from Singapore and Sweden to Uphan, New Mexico, Columbus, Ohio, and Sheyboygan, Wisconsin. (The author of the article, Ed Regis, has written several fantastic future science books like the Great Mambo Chicken And The Transhuman Condition
and Nano! The True Story of Nanotechnology
.) (Seen here is a conceptual drawing of Space Adventures' Spaceport Singapore.)
From the article:
The forces behind spaceport fever include national, state, and local governments, crown princes, private investors, dot-com billionaires, regular billionaires, aerospace engineers, test pilots, former astronauts, rocket hobbyists, and space cadets of every stripe. All seem to believe that spaceports will be the hot new industry, the next biotech, a completely novel sector of commerce that will produce tall geysers of cold cash and bring jobs, rocket paparazzi, and throngs of deep-pocketed tourists, spectators, and assorted space-niks swarming into the spaceport’s neighborhood. In a scrubby patch of southern New Mexico, for example, a spaceport–Spaceport America–is poised to bring economic salvation to a state that ranks 39th in gross state product.
“Potentially it’s 6,000 jobs,” said New Mexico governor (and now presidential candidate) Bill Richardson last year. “The potential for tourism, for jobs, for new technologies moving into New Mexico is huge.”
It was Richardson himself who was responsible for bringing Virgin Galactic to the state as Spaceport America’s anchor tenant–a feat akin to getting Microsoft to move to Santa Fe, perhaps, except for the minor detail that Virgin Galactic had, at that point, no operational spacecraft in the stable and wouldn’t for some time.
Jerry Larson, president of UP (pronounced up!) Aerospace, another Spaceport America tenant, is also bullish on the spaceport’s future. “There’s this huge market waiting there,” Larson told the Rocky Mountain News last September. “It’s a multibillion-dollar industry waiting to be birthed.”
Previously on BB:
• New details on Jeff Bezos' West Texas spaceport plans Link
• Virgin Galactic to build $225M spaceport; new logo = Branson's eye Link
• Xeni on NPR; SpaceShipOne wins XPrize Link
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]