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New Mexico Spaceport Nearly Ready For Business

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the if-no-pun-why-mention dept.

Transportation 96

Cutting_Crew writes "I am sure many of us have heard about this story, but it looks like Spaceport America is finally ready to take off (no pun intended). The latest construction pictures [Note: database might be slightly flaky] are up to view. Want to be one of the first to take a ride? It will set you back $200,000. I don't know how many people will be able to afford such a trip, outside of Las Vegas, Hollywood, Cupertino, Redmond, and few retirees, but I suppose they are thinking that they can make their money back with this project in the long term. Touring the space frontier seems a little steep. A lot of people are just trying to make living without being foreclosed on."

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Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151102)

What exactly are they gonna catch a ride on?

Re:Hmmm (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151528)

What exactly are they gonna catch a ride on?

Chinese made bootleg Soyuz capsules :)

Re:Hmmm (3, Funny)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151672)

Would that be a "Soy" capsule?

Sorry, couldn't resist...

Re: Database (0)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151116)

Why is the database flaky? More to the point, how does the submitter know this? Is this another Slashvertisement, posted by a virgin shill, or is it of genuine interest from a news point of view?

Re: Database (1)

sirdude (578412) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151158)

"Touring the space frontier seems a little steep. A lot of people are just trying to make living in a home a reality without being foreclosed on."

Does the above sound like something coming from a Virgin shill?

The database is fine. The page in question is just a blogspot alias. It can also be accessed at http://spaceportamericaconstruction.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] which incidentally benefits greatly from the use of a pager.

Re: Database (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | more than 3 years ago | (#37153272)

straight from the submittors mouth....i didnt write that part - they changed up my initial submission some, including the links but they totally added the database part -

Re: Database (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#37153890)

You might also want to know that Baikonur is the "World's First Spaceport" / you should know better than to just reuse Foxnews headline as the title of your submission...

(and the reality you grumble about is how the world always looks like for vast majority of people / your place maybe just had a relatively brief period of masking it slightly better ...and at what cost [wikipedia.org] / not strictly on merit; while being at the bottom of developed countries in social mobility anyway, so "land of opportunity" or "American Dream" were a myth, in themselves just a product to sell, in any event)

Re: Database (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151280)

Not a slashvertisement, just pretentious.

Put together by Squidbillies, a New Mexico drum. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151124)

Will be obsolete by the Spaceport Roove Launchpad, coming to your own house, so that never-again will
you ever need to use the private roads owned by the Government to exploit you with artificial laws while the air is free to traverse.

What a stupid summary... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151130)

Either become a journalist and write your stupid "Oh my god, the world is so unfair! There are rich and poor people, OMG!" or you write unbiased, nice summary for slashdot.

What does this summary here serve? Some author who wants to point the moral finger? That, yet nothing else, was indeed achieved...

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

gtvr (1702650) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152534)

Thank you. If there's something that generates economic activity, it will end up helping poor people, too. There are jobs to be had at places like this, including construction, logistics, food services and more. If someone is spending 200K/pop, it's not all going to the parent company, there are expenses related to operations and that's what makes up our economy - people spending money, other people providing services & turning a profit.

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#37155040)

Ohh, St. Reagan's Voodoo Economics, peace be upon him. Listen, mate, the US have a wealth disparity that is about the level of a third world banana republic. Nothing is trickling down, except the rich pissing on the rest. It is the goddamn fucking duty of any journalist worth his salt to point this out at every possible occasion.

Re:What a stupid summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37155812)

Ohh, St. Reagan's Voodoo Economics, peace be upon him. Listen, mate, the US have a wealth disparity that is about the level of a third world banana republic. Nothing is trickling down, except the rich pissing on the rest. It is the goddamn fucking duty of any journalist worth his salt to point this out at every possible occasion.

Hey Mindcontrolled - If you would learn a few more words to add to your childish vocabulary maybe you might also learn that the world (and this includes your mindless part of it) has always and will always be ran on a trickle-down theory of some kind. The people that start businesses, take risks, and generate profits are the ones that make the jobs that pay the salaries. You can boo-hoo about how "terrible the rich are because I'm not one of them" all you want but they make the jobs. GROW UP, leave your make believe "Robin Hood-world" and realize that you ain't gonna take anything from them that they don't want to give up. Your immature language simply points out that none of us should listen to you.

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#37155990)

Excellent rebuttal. And Mindcontrolled might want to do some actual research and see the income disparity that existed in America in the early 1900's. If those constantly complaining about the inequities in life would do more than stage protests and rampaging riots and take some personal responsibility for themselves. Trying to impose wealth equality with government and political policies only end up making everyone equally poor.

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#37156428)

Oh my, little one, I am not even American. I just watch you from my European socialist hellhole. Please, go ahead, Perry for president... I just pity the decent guys over there that your ilk wants to drag down into your retarded vision.

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#37158384)

Thinking people should be willing to take some responsibility for their own life is a retarded vision? Blaming governments and the wealthy for all your failures is nothing but a way to ignore the fact that your choices and actions are also a major contributing factor in hardships you face in life. I don't recall claiming that Europe is a socialist hellhole.

Re:What a stupid summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37156326)

You're an idiot. This is possibly one of the best "luxury" goods a rich person could buy to help the economy.

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

crazyeddie740 (785275) | more than 3 years ago | (#37157286)

Ohh, St. Reagan's Voodoo Economics, peace be upon him. Listen, mate, the US have a wealth disparity that is about the level of a third world banana republic. Nothing is trickling down, except the rich pissing on the rest.

Voodoo Economics don't work because the rich have a lower Marginal Propensity to Consume - they tend to spend a smaller proportion and save a larger proportion of their income than the poor. Here, we have something that might convince the rich to actually cough up some of their dough instead of just sitting on it. That should help both the economy and us, the poor.

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159418)

Ohh, St. Reagan's Voodoo Economics, peace be upon him. Listen, mate, the US have a wealth disparity that is about the level of a third world banana republic. Nothing is trickling down, except the rich pissing on the rest. It is the goddamn fucking duty of any journalist worth his salt to point this out at every possible occasion.

There are two things to note here. First, if you screw over the people who hire, then they hire less people. True story! Second, if you pass a bunch of bullshit regulations, taxes, and welfare, then only the big, ammoral corporations or government agencies can jump through the hoops (or ignore the hoops in the case of the government agencies) in order to function. Instead of fixing the problem, the ideologues are just blaming the same old causes while they make things worse.

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159498)

Indeed. And the same old causes that are blamed again and again are taxes and regulations. Why is it, oh, high priest of St. Reagan, peace be upon him, that at a point with historically low taxes on the wealthy, unemployment is soaring? Why is it that the Gini coefficient has risen to third world level in the last 3 decades?

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159726)

Why is it, oh, high priest of St. Reagan, peace be upon him, that at a point with historically low taxes on the wealthy, unemployment is soaring? Why is it that the Gini coefficient has risen to third world level in the last 3 decades?

First, because there's huge costs to hiring people in the US. These costs have been greatly inflated by the very people who purport to help workers. Second, the Gini coefficient merely is a measure of income inequity. It doesn't say whether that inequity comes from trickle down tax cuts for the wealthy or regulation. My view is that regulation dominates since it can become considerably harder regulation-wise to hire and pay for people in the US.

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

thrich81 (1357561) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160702)

There has been a fairly large disparity in the cost of labor in the US vs most 3rd world countries since at least WWII, it's just that for the first 30 years after that war, the state of the rest of the world and transportation and communications infrastructure did not allow the corporations to exercise unbridled, unaccountable greed like they do now. For example, you couldn't have a call center outside the US with 1960's tech communications infrastructure. If the captains of industry in 1955 had been able to outsource their labor to where the prevailing wage was 5 cents/hr then, they would have eagerly done so. It is a classic 'race to the bottom' now as far as workers' compensation and living standards are concerned. It's bad for most of us but may be inevitable since the corps have pretty much captured the government (we need another Teddy Roosevelt!). And to address the poster's concern -- in our new oligarchic society there will be plenty of the rich who can drop 200K for a space ride with little concern about where the next 200K will come from.

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#37168094)

it's just that for the first 30 years after that war, the state of the rest of the world and transportation and communications infrastructure did not allow the corporations to exercise unbridled, unaccountable greed like they do now

As obvious counterexamples, consider the oil production industry in the Middle East prior to 1970 or the nuclear power industry prior to the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents. The infrastructure makes businesses (not just corporations) more accountable now than ever. The internet distributes knowledge far more readily. Businesses are far more regulated. Yet we have people who deny the obvious.

If the captains of industry in 1955 had been able to outsource their labor to where the prevailing wage was 5 cents/hr then, they would have eagerly done so.

And they did so (yet another counterexample). Hence, the present.

It is a classic 'race to the bottom' now as far as workers' compensation and living standards are concerned. It's bad for most of us but may be inevitable since the corps have pretty much captured the government (we need another Teddy Roosevelt!).

You need to be worth more than what you're getting paid. A little fiscal prudence would help too. A developed world worker shouldn't be any more entitled to a high wage than a Bangladeshi worker.

As to the "race to the bottom", the same thing happened in the developed world at the start of the industrial revolution. After all, it wasn't the educated elite who were working in the factories, but the cheapest workers available. And there were plenty of them with the vast displacements from factories replacing various man-intensive industries. That worked out and it wasn't all due to politics.

And to address the poster's concern -- in our new oligarchic society there will be plenty of the rich who can drop 200K for a space ride with little concern about where the next 200K will come from.

And how is that a bad thing? Would it be better to make the entire society poorer so that you have less wealthy people?

Re:What a stupid summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159752)

There are two things to note here. First, if you screw over the people who hire, then they hire less people. True story! Second, if you pass a bunch of bullshit regulations, taxes, and welfare, then only the big, ammoral corporations or government agencies can jump through the hoops (or ignore the hoops in the case of the government agencies) in order to function. Instead of fixing the problem, the ideologues are just blaming the same old causes while they make things worse.

Bullshit. Most organizations hire employees because they have work that needs to be done, and they are looking for the cheapest way to get that work done (hiring the minimum number of employees to get by, outsourcing what they can, etc.). Their goal is to maximize profits. Simply lowering their taxes so they can make more money does nothing to encourage them to turn around and waste that money by hiring more people than they think they need to get the work done. That kind of behavior would not be in the best interests of those who have an investment in the organization.

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#37159796)

Bullshit. Most organizations hire employees because they have work that needs to be done, and they are looking for the cheapest way to get that work done (hiring the minimum number of employees to get by, outsourcing what they can, etc.).

Yes. And yet I remain right. The regulatory cost of employing someone is part of that decision-making process above. How is raising the cost of employing someone going to encourage employers, who as you say are looking for the cheapest way to get that work done?

Simply lowering their taxes so they can make more money does nothing to encourage them to turn around and waste that money by hiring more people than they think they need to get the work done.

The thing you miss here is that work is optional. The employer has the choice to either expand their existing work or do new work. Cheaper employees encourage them to do that. Similarly, they can choose to do less work or even leave fields of work. More expensive employees help encourage them to do that.

Re:What a stupid summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37163522)

Bullshit. Most organizations hire employees because they have work that needs to be done, and they are looking for the cheapest way to get that work done (hiring the minimum number of employees to get by, outsourcing what they can, etc.).

Yes. And yet I remain right. The regulatory cost of employing someone is part of that decision-making process above. How is raising the cost of employing someone going to encourage employers, who as you say are looking for the cheapest way to get that work done?

Simply lowering their taxes so they can make more money does nothing to encourage them to turn around and waste that money by hiring more people than they think they need to get the work done.

The thing you miss here is that work is optional. The employer has the choice to either expand their existing work or do new work. Cheaper employees encourage them to do that. Similarly, they can choose to do less work or even leave fields of work. More expensive employees help encourage them to do that.

The potential increase in their profits encourages them to do that. The demand for their product/service is a big factor when thinking about expansion. While the cost of materials, employees, etc. are also factors, lowering those costs simply increases profits without encouraging increasing production or hiring more people. On the other hand, that money to increase profits still has to come from somewhere, and if you have to take it from people who are living paycheck to paycheck, it will reduce demand for many products/services in the long run. Depending on how far you go with it, it will have more negative effects on society. (Homeless people are depressing, and many would resort to robbing you over watching their family starve.)

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#37167934)

The potential increase in their profits encourages them to do that. The demand for their product/service is a big factor when thinking about expansion. While the cost of materials, employees, etc. are also factors, lowering those costs simply increases profits without encouraging increasing production or hiring more people. On the other hand, that money to increase profits still has to come from somewhere, and if you have to take it from people who are living paycheck to paycheck, it will reduce demand for many products/services in the long run. Depending on how far you go with it, it will have more negative effects on society. (Homeless people are depressing, and many would resort to robbing you over watching their family starve.)

I see two problems with your assertions above. First, it's a fallacy to claim that paying employees well translates to more demand for your service. There may be benefits which outweigh the costs, but increased demand isn't a significant one (unless you happen to be running a pyramid scheme like Amway where the employees are the customers). I figure this poor idea came from some clever propaganda that the Ford Corporation put out concerning a salary increase (the "five dollar day").

It also ignores that the value of the employee didn't change just because they got paid more. I'd rather people got paid market rate rather than stealing from employers.

And that leads me to my second point. Nobody is "taking" from people who "live paycheck to paycheck". And prison is an adequate place for the people who would rob me for nonsensical rationalizations.

Finally, the real problem here is that you simply have an ideology that's not based on fact. The developed world is a vast counterexample. People in the developed world don't starve because they get paid a little less. Nobody has to steal to feed their families. But that doesn't stop politicians and societies from stealing from employers and burdening them with bogus regulation.

Employment is a two-way street. When the employee or employers gets an advantage, it is at the detriment of the other side. I think it is folly to favor one side heavily over the other.

Re:What a stupid summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159824)

I can't see why you would piss on a domestic space port. There are much better things to complain about like the banker bailout, unending foreign wars, the loss of our manufacturing base, our shameful politicized public education system, or our crumbling infrastructure. A space port sound like a move in the right direction for a change.

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160328)

I am not pissing on a domestic spaceport, I am pissing on the GP who wants to shut up everyone talking about income inequality. I do fully agree with your list of problems.

I don't know about you Mr. Anon Coward (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152718)

But I'm going to build a Taco Stand at the entrance for the crowds of onlookers when these things take off.

Re:I don't know about you Mr. Anon Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37153730)

And I'll sell antacids and set up a coin-op toilet.

Re:I don't know about you Mr. Anon Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37155642)

And you'd be the one making the most money by far!

Re:What a stupid summary... (1)

Zandali (2440080) | more than 3 years ago | (#37158960)

So true. Stupid summary when everything is relative. The 'Hollywood' and 'Redmond' money thing is so lame and reminiscent of twelve-year-old world view. I am putting cash aside for a trip up in 2016, and I make a 'normal' living. When you get back from space they will even give you astronaut wings, a novelty, but it gives one definite IRLpeen strokability when you sport them around town.

Re:What a stupid summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159528)

Either become a journalist and write your stupid "Oh my god, the world is so unfair! There are rich and poor people, OMG!" or you write unbiased, nice summary for slashdot.

What does this summary here serve? Some author who wants to point the moral finger? That, yet nothing else, was indeed achieved...

How is what you say any difference than people using slashdot as a platform to constantly attack Apple purely because they come from the PC Clone tribe?

Its all about willingness to pay (2)

drnb (2434720) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151132)

It will set you back $200,000. I don't know how many people will be able to afford such a trip, outside of Las Vegas, Hollywood, Cupertino, Redmond, and few retirees, but I suppose they are thinking that they can make their money back with this project in the long term.

When you have something with limited availability you start with those customers with a higher willingness to pay and charge them something at or near their perceived value. When you have exhausted this segment of the market you can lower the price and go for the next tier down. Walking down the prices in this manner maximizes revenue, everyone pays near their perceived value. So they are really making their money back in the shortest term possible.

Re:Its all about willingness to pay (3, Interesting)

sirdude (578412) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151200)

A chartered flight, depending on the distance, will cost something like USD12000 an hour. That'd make the longest flight, Singapore to Newark, which clocks in as an 18 hour stretch, set you back USD216000. Going to space for less than that is a bloody bargain.

Presumably, space flights will also have cabin crew. That will probably become one of the most coveted jobs out there :)

*sigh*

Where wealth is found ... (1)

drnb (2434720) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151176)

I don't know how many people will be able to afford such a trip, outside of Las Vegas, Hollywood, Cupertino, Redmond, and few retirees

That is a really strange perspective on where wealth (defined as having $200K to indulge in a fantasy trip) is found. Early Apple and Microsoft employees, movie moguls, and casino owners?

Not a new spaceport in Mexico (0)

Lord Juan (1280214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151204)

Aww, for a moment I thought that my country was getting a new spaceport =(

Re:Not a new spaceport in Mexico (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151250)

Lol, srsly?

I know you didn't really believe that.

Re:Not a new spaceport in Mexico (1)

Lord Juan (1280214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37153364)

Of course not, I was intended to be humorous.

Re:Not a new spaceport in Mexico (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151500)

Mos Eisley joke

Re:Not a new spaceport in Mexico (1)

Lord Juan (1280214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37153378)

I did get that.

What I thought about was South Park.

Re:Not a new spaceport in Mexico (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#37155102)

Would it have to be located in Ciudad Juarez or Tijuana to qualify for Mos Eisley status?

okay guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151238)

let's get Willzyx home

Moron submitter (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151264)

"I don't know how many people will be able to afford such a trip, outside of Las Vegas, Hollywood, Cupertino, Redmond, and few retirees, but I suppose they are thinking that they can make their money back with this project in the long term. Touring the space frontier seems a little steep. A lot of people are just trying to make living in a home a reality without being foreclosed on." Dumbass post. Your ancestors probably stood alongside the first automobile and said aloud "Do we REALLY need this thing? I mean, only the rich can afford it. I'm going to go suck my own penis now." Fucking douchebag. Who gives a fuck about foreclosures? Get a goddamn job, fucking losers.

Natural Selection (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151294)

Dumbass post. Your ancestors probably stood alongside the first automobile and said aloud "Do we REALLY need this thing? I mean, only the rich can afford it. I'm going to go suck my own penis now."

Unlikely.

1) Though technically correct, the word "ancestors" is a bit much when talking about a relatively recent event, like the invention of the automobile.
2) In that era, even such a miniscule level of crassness by today's standards would not have been remotely acceptable in anything resembling upper middle-class society.
3) The ability to suck on one's own penis would not survive a single... and very unproductive... generation.

Re:Moron submitter (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151440)

Sorry, the car was solving a real need. People mostly don't buy them to indulge themselves, you know, but to haul their asses and cargo to where they need to go. Nobody freaking needs to go for a suborbital flight, other than to entertain themselves. That's the difference you missed.

Re:Moron submitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151780)

Automobiles took a while to be more economic than a horse and buggy, or some variation thereof.

Re:Moron submitter (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151972)

"Sorry, the car was solving a real need"

Sorry, that's false. The car *ended up* solving a real need, in fact, the current real need for a car is mostly a selfacomplishness of the car itself.

The first cars were certainly obnoxious luxury devices for the rich ones.

Re:Moron submitter (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#37155080)

True. In large parts, the car created a need - as evidenced by the abomination that is suburbia.

This Will Surely Become... (0)

virb67 (1771270) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151298)

A wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Re:This Will Surely Become... (-1)

FreakyGreenLeaky (1536953) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151376)

yes, like your arse.

Re:This Will Surely Become... (1)

wdef (1050680) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151410)

For those who don't know and could be bothered, this is a Star Wars IV reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mos_Eisley [wikipedia.org] .

Less than impressive... (4, Informative)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151324)

I mean, if you want a "Spaceport", why not go to where the facilities are the best [state.ok.us] ? The Okla. Spaceport in Burns Flat has longer, wider runways (13,503' x 300' w/1000 overruns versus only 10,000' x 200'), better access to major transportation and major population centers, 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility with loading docks adjacent to main line rail spur, and a golf course on site. BTW, it's where Armadillo Aerospace [armadilloaerospace.com] goes to play

Re:Less than impressive... (2)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151454)

The Okla. Spaceport in Burns Flat has longer, wider runways (13,503' x 300' w/1000 overruns versus only 10,000' x 200'),

That seems kind of trivial to expand if deemed necessary. How are you faring for a comparable emergency landing and test site [wikipedia.org] ?

better access to major transportation and major population centers

And you think population proximity makes it a great place for launching what will be essentially experimental bombs? (maybe even with nuclear fuel [nasa.gov] )

and a golf course on site

Just in case exploring new frontiers of our universe ever gets dull.

I imagine the NM site is a little more fuel efficient for being closer to the equator and a somewhat higher elevation, and pretty stellar for weather (one of the reasons it has a large community of astronomers and sites such as the VLA).

Re:Less than impressive... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152054)

I don't understand why they build a spaceport on the airport model. The ticket is 200,000$, they would be expecting what ? 20 clients a year ? Make it 100... Airports' architecture is designed for big flows of passengers and is made to accomodate them using as few personnel as possible. Obviously on a space port you will have mainly rich clients that will expect a bit more service than in a regular airport...

Re:Less than impressive... (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 3 years ago | (#37154782)

Well, hopefully prices will come down in the future and more people will be able to afford it. Might as well build it prepared to handle increased volume.

Re:Less than impressive... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152468)

It's a battle of titans, as Oklahoma and New Mexico square off in the ultimate spaceport showdown! Who will triumph, and who will be vanquished, in this mortal struggle for supremacy in the under-4-million-residents and 40th-place-or-worse-in-4th-grade-reading-skills division! In one corner: the flat, wide open, lands of New Mexico free of rivers and freshly cleared by raging forest fires. In the other conrner, the flat, wide open lands of Oklahoma, where tornadoes keep the proliferation of double-wides at bay. Hang on to your seats, boys and girls, we're about to blast into spaaaaace!

No pun intended? BS (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151356)

I hate when people use the phrase "no pun intended". Especially when it's typed. Especially when its obvious the phrase was, in fact, there to POINT OUT the pun... sigh

Re:No pun intended? BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37152056)

Checking through the slashdot archives for the phrase "no pun intended" in association with puns, well not one pun in ten did.

Re:No pun intended? BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37152416)

I totally agree with you. No pun intended. ... I also hate non-sequiturs.

Re:No pun intended? BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37152942)

Personally, I really dislike the misuse of the word "hate". It's a very strong word, and not meant to convey the notion of annoyance (unless it is your intention to gun down unintentional pun-users, today).

Re:No pun intended? BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37159146)

Personally, I really dislike the misuse of the word "hate".

Indeed. Another overused word is "lie".

The temperature is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. "Headline: AC caught you lying. It's 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This invalidates all his other claims."

Re:No pun intended? BS (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 3 years ago | (#37153056)

Re:No pun intended? BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37153844)

would like to point out when you link to that page you're make a value judment about me...

ffs grow up peeps and wash the sand out your vag... every single pun ever uttered by any semi-intelligent and up monkey, intended.

Re:No pun intended? BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37156752)

http://xkcd.com/559/

Anybody else reminded of first contact? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151370)

Was anybody else reminded of Star Trek first contact by the summary? The scene there seemed to exhibit quite a bit of wealth disparity too. It's the same old story.

Ladeling out soup at the local shelter is a dull necessity--it probably didn't inspire the people of the 1930s the way airships, airplanes and Buck Rogers movies did. All of those things could have been dismissed as frivolities. Today, airlines employ thousands and soup kitchens are still... soup kitchens.

Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with charity. It's just that it doesn't inspire everybody in the same way, and there can actually be an immoral side to charity. It's the side where the giver feels an undue sense of importance, and subconsciously partners with those who perpetuate the need for charity...

No Pun Intended........ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151402)

Why would you say that. It makes me somehow angry inside. Oh yea... this sums it up...

http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=puns

How many people can afford the trip? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151514)

Quite a few. There tens of thousands of people worldwide worth more than $30 million, and just in America, 3 million millionaires (and that's not including residential property as part of the calculation).

The people struggling to pay for somewhere to live aren't exactly the target market.

Spaceport in NM (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151526)

What is Area 51, Alex?

Re:Spaceport in NM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37153786)

Oh...I'm sorry, that will take you down to -100

Area 51 is, of course, in Nevada. I'm afraid that will knock you out of the Final Jeopardy round.

Have a nice terrestrial trip back to wherever you're from.

I guess that means we need to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151568)

GET TO THE CHOPPA!!!

Love the fact that it's a runway. (1)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151592)

The big difference here, in contrast to Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg, is the elimination of vertical launchpads.
Keep in mind that NASA wisely chose to launch space missions from strategic spots where, in case of a mishap, the rocket crashes in the ocean.
Can you imagine the catastrophe of tons and tons of ignited LOX flooding a populated area? NASA did.

This is why NASA is hunting around for alternative launch spots with the exact same geographic characteristics as the current ones, Guyana has made some noise for equatorial missions, Baja California for circumpolar missions.

But now, with horizontal takeoff and a little bit of scramjet mojo, you can build a spaceport just about anywhere. Much smaller payloads than NASA, as well as suborbital flights only so far, but it's a highly encouraging milestone.

Having put in my two cents' worth, something just occurred to me: Risk of crashing in a populated area like Illinois or Ohio aside, surely there would be a significant benefit to launching traditional NASA missions from a facility high in the Rocky Mountains, a 3-4 kms gravitational head start would save TONS of fuel.

Re:Love the fact that it's a runway. (1)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151638)

Here's a puzzling fact I just checked on Wikipedia: Baikonur's elevation is a measly 100 meters above sea level.
Why didn't the USSR choose someplace high in the Urals?

Re:Love the fact that it's a runway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37151934)

Or 1000 km further south, in Turkmenistan.

Re:Love the fact that it's a runway. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152528)

Baikonur started as a missile range. It was only sensible to merely expand (vs. new expensive mega-construction project) and use it as a spaceport - and not only because, for example, "the most reliable ... most frequently used launch vehicle in the world" [esa.int] is a direct descendant [wikipedia.org] of the first operational ICBM (developed and tested at Baikonur)...

...also because things which made it a great missile test range, make it a good spaceport, too. And plains are a bit more handy, easier to work on, when it comes to creating and operating such vast infrastructure and the accompanying city.

Generally, if you look around you, you'll see that a significant elevation above sea level didn't seem to be the goal of any existing spaceport. There's a very good reason for that - by far most of the "effort" when trying to reach orbit is expanded not on height but on achieving high horizontal speed (and those are absolute basics of orbital mechanics BTW - so maybe you should reconsider the propriety of criticising existing approaches and praising "alternatives"?).

Shaving off 1 to 2% out of one minor factor, in exchange for massive headaches with maintaining mountainous spaceport, is a not a good deal.

There is nothing 'measly' about Baikonur (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37153096)

There is nothing 'measly' about Baikonur.
In Mother Russia our meters are 10000 times the size your *measly* western meters.
That places Baikonur already in space without rocket.
School children wear space suit to ride bicycle there.

Re:Love the fact that it's a runway. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151878)

Ecuador would be a nice place for a spaceport, and a nice place for a space elevator on the same site later...

It's also a short hop, tourist rush (3, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152076)

Of course hat big, lovable(?) difference means they are at least an order of magnitude away, in energy expenditure required, from being able to reach orbit.

Locations are not that much of a problem, a lot of Earth's area is an ocean. Also, industrial complexes tend to be near coastline (even if their specific area is unsuitable for launches, it makes for an easy means to transport large cargo). Besides, the spaceport in question is also in rather desolated area. And generally, it's largely also about planned "crashes" of staging.

Those scramjet vehicles, that pop out now and then, might be possibly better described as "missile demonstrator" or "weapons carrier" ...probably closer to the most feasible and/or intended function (which follow the form, and vice versa; nice overall, less geopolitical complications than with ICBMs, and without the need to have a launcher placed in the theatre (or bomber carrier getting nearby), how convenient; the good old search for tech which can destabilize the balance and trigger a new arms race / sales).

When you really seriously do the math (like they did with HOTOL, for example), ~winged orbital vehicles using the atmosphere during launch turn out not really better than a "dumb rocket" using comparable materials ...which for a spaceplane are required to make it even barely feasible. Similarly, 3 km of elevation won't make much of a difference - the rockets cover that very quickly. Their main goal is not height, but speed (launching near equator is more worthwhile)

And X-34 (plus few others being worked on, Dream Chaser for example) is just a payload of ordinary rocket.

More generally, historically, everybody at first expected "aerodynamic" or "spaceplane-ish" shapes from reentry vehicles, and worked towards it hard. They proved relatively unworkable. Blunt shape entry capsule was quite late innovation, an improvement; and a bit of a surprise. There's nothing wrong with capsules. Physics, rocket equation, are a bitch - and they override dreams (here, about expected modes of space travel); dreams unduly extrapolating rates and directions of observed progress. Look at those airplanes [goo.gl] from "our" times (imagined during rapid advances of marine tech; and we can even build them - take a Harrier, remove wings and canopy... still a horrible idea vs. "boring" reality [wikimedia.org] ).

Consider how the "spaceplanes" came to dominate scifi... around the 40s, during rapid advances of airplane tech (I can see a pattern...); how the designers and decision-makers of the Shuttle were undoubtedly raised on those works of fiction. How they gave us an analogue of Catalina, at best (Spruce Goose, at worst); but something which looked very soothing and "inspiring" to the already constrained public imagination, already quite accustomed to airliners / Concorde. Something which probably robbed us at least of a decade of progress; was conceptually obsolete (with automatic rendezvous, docking and routine return of large valuable cargo done since the 60s) before it seriously got onto drawing boards. Wasting most of upmass on airframe; a lot of good that does in space ...where it doesn't matter how "sleek" something looks. We build vehicles meant for various environments in very different, specific ways. Making a spacecraft out of an aircraft appears to have limited utility (and by the time it maybe-who-knows might, we could be on our way to in-situ manufacturing and making the "from reactive atmosphere to low orbit" problem uninteresting)

Grandiose, fabulous, "awesome" styles typical of scifi (again, works of fiction) mostly just constrain public imagination, make them expect something palatable, nothing too uncomfortable and too alien from Earthly experiences (bonus: it's much easier to write / depict...); fearful to face the absolutely wild realities of existing universe. Ultimately, people will continue being upset how the space travel will most likely remain fundamentally different from their expectations. In the meantime, how many even realize that we can already send people when they are miniaturized and in deep hibernation and that dozens of thousands on Earth are past the procedure? Heck, give me one medium launcher + few dozen million bucks, and I can transport at least a thousand viable humans practically to anywhere in our system.

Re:It's also a short hop, tourist rush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37157222)

Shuttle had its wings for a reason: stealing or destroying Russian satellites. It was supposed to be able to enter a fairly arbitrary orbit quickly, do its deed, then deorbit quickly and use its crossrange ability to get back home (rather than wait for a better spot in its orbit).

Space warfare of that kind probably hasn't happened--we still don't know all the details of all the shuttle's missions--but it was a good experiment. I'd love to see a vehicle of comparable scale, with a big cargo bay, arm, and decent living space, designed without the crossrange requirement.

Re:Love the fact that it's a runway. (1)

Bomazi (1875554) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152536)

a 3-4 kms gravitational head start would save TONS of fuel.

No it wouldn't. The gravitational potential depends on the distance from Earth's barycenter. The relative difference between 65536 km and 65540 km is a measly 0.006%, which is negligible.

Re:Love the fact that it's a runway. (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152624)

Can you imagine the catastrophe of tons and tons of ignited LOX flooding a populated area?

I'm having trouble just imagining the ignited LOX.

If you build it, they will spend. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151876)

"...Touring the space frontier seems a little steep. A lot of people are just trying to make living in a home a reality without being foreclosed on."

Uh, remember that old saying? Goes something like "the rich keep getting richer..."?

Yeah, that's not just some old nursery rhyme. It's pretty much the reason we're in this financial mess, so don't sit here and make it sound like we're gonna struggle to find the rich out there willing to part with a paltry $200K. If anyone thought that was anywhere close to reality, Spaceport America would have never been built.

Economics and Aviation History (1)

dammy (131759) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152564)

I wonder if the write thought this through before he went to bemoan the idea that the rich will be the ones who can afford it. I'm all for the rich to spend their money on this and more so. If you look back in aviation history, those first long distance commercial flights were not cheap comparative to that era. Only the very rich could afford to go fly down to the Keys or from NYC to LA, the average person had to take a train, bus or if it was overseas travels, passenger ship. Aviation travels caught on with the rich because it saved them time, and time is either money (business trips) or pleasure while the airlines grew from providing this service. Jet airplane travel was not cheap, again, only the rich could afford it. It was a status symbol to be a "Jet Setter", so more and more paid the high ticket costs which grew the commercial travel industry on the backs of the rich. Today, it's often far cheaper to buy a ticket in advance on Spirit Airlines then it is travel by car, that is only happening because it's a mature market that was funded by the thrill seeking rich some 80 years ago.

This is the same way it has to happen for space travel so that the average person can afford to go for a sub-orbital and hopefully one day, a orbital trip. Rich have to be there to financially fund development and refinement of space travel, government will just FUBAR it up like they did the human space program over the past three decades. Toast the rich as they begin this phase of human space travel, they are funding it, and they are literally putting their lives on the line to make the system more economical and safer for us common folk in the future.

Who can afford it? Lot's of non-americans (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#37151980)

I don't know how many people will be able to afford such a trip, outside of Las Vegas, Hollywood, Cupertino, Redmond, and few retirees,

On the Forbes' list of billionaires, only 7 of the top 20 are americans. So presumably the majority of people that services like this are intended for will not be american nationals, either. To only consider one (5% of the world's population) country as the potential client-base is incredibly parochial and I'm sure the space travel industry won't make that mistake.

Re:Who can afford it? Lot's of non-americans (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152194)

Also, the same endeavour apparently wants to operate from the Swedish spaceport near Kiruna, and somewhere from the Emirates I believe (and somebody else out of an island off the coast of Venezuela, IIRC)

It's not merely about being open to the widest market, I think (after all, most people interested in a suborbital ride can easily come to the US) - a view from the height 100 km of northern Scandinavia or Persian Gulf (or Caribbean) should be much more interesting, as far as tourist rides are concerned, than New Mexico...

Re:Who can afford it? Lot's of non-americans (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152508)

Uh why only billionaires? The US has over a million millionaires. These aren't all retired living off savings. There are thousands if not tens of thousands of capable travelers in the US. OTOH I'm sure there are at least an ewual amount abroad - so the market is really substantial. It's at least as viable as 5 diamond hotels and private luxury aircraft and seacraft.

Re:Who can afford it? Lot's of non-americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37156556)

The only difference, and it is a small one, is that there is nothing to do in space. The sub-orbital hop is over in ten minutes. Then what? Keep going againg and again like a retard on pudding day going for seconds?

They'll get some dough from me (1)

callmebill (1917294) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152030)

It's worth a couple hundred for me to hang out in the terminal and watch commercial space flights landing and taking off as nonchalantly as though it were Logan (airport, that is). Even if I can't go up, it would still feel good to watch the activity man's nascent commercial space adventures.

THe broke of A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37152064)

na im not putting a dime inot the usa ....many are also looking to go round you and not do business ...your broke.

Subject (1)

danwesnor (896499) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152118)

Man, you're really bad at snark.

"Space" port!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37152532)

Oh ha ha ha ha haaaaa!!! The delusional medical-grade self-aggrandizing megalomania necessary to call this a "space" port is laughable! Why isn't this properly called an "amusement park" or "trackless roller coaster"? And I'm being nice here. You want to go up? You can book a flight on a MiG-29 for a fraction of the price of a sub-orbital hop in a tin tube, *and* the MiG flies for 45 minutes! It *flies*, not hops!

You will never find... (3, Funny)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 3 years ago | (#37152592)

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.

Jika Anda membangunnya, mereka akan menghabiskan. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37154258)

Salam jumpa dari indonesia
entah apa yang akan aku tulis untuk sebuah komentar.
yang kami pikir dan berharap untuk mendapat trafik se kembali jika komentar di web dofollow.
semoga bermanfaat

Hilton Orbital (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37165332)

I hope they've been saving those fuel tanks: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/293366.stm [bbc.co.uk]
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