One zillionaire has been to space -- or near it; fight that out among yourselves -- and come back safely now. In a little over a week, another one will go for a ride, slightly higher and arguably wilder.
They're even spatting with one another about which vehicle system, Bezos or Branson, offers the spaceiest space experience, and the safest.
The usual loathe-the-rich folks are complaining about the eeeeeevils of capitalism -- no doubt using handheld computers sold for dirt-cheap prices, laptops more powerful than the best supercomputers of 25 years ago, or cheap, refurbished desktops with more computing power than was available in all of Europe in 1977. Apparently -- as Tam pointed out -- for some of our fellow humans, when mostly-military personnel go to space at the behest of cold-war competing national governments, that is okay-fine, wave the flag and hurrah, but when competing billionaires do the same thing, it's terrible. awful and no good. Well, that's one way to look at it, I guess. (Others do get it.)
Me, I'm just happy to see people go to space, and if a few of the ultra-wealthy want to be self-funded beta-testers, good for them! It takes people willing to spend six figures a ticket to ever start to get the price down to something affordable for you and me. (For that matter, there's nothing quite like having a guy who can buy his own island strapped into the passenger seat, with his armies of lawyers waiting on the ground, to help ensure the hardware really is at least as safe and reliable as promised. I can't afford to sue 'em honest, but there are lots of people ahead of me in the boarding queue who can.)
Passengers went to space today and came back. In a few days, paying passengers (at least one) will be going to space.
BUILDING A 1:1 BALUN
1 year ago