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Spaceport Development Picks Up Steam In Texas

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the if-you-build-it-they-will-launch dept.

Space 116

RocketAcademy writes "The Lone Star State is moving to become a leader in spaceport development. The Houston Airport System is officially moving ahead with plans to turn Ellington Airport, near NASA's Johnson Space Center, into an FAA-licensed commercial spaceport. The airport system has completed a feasibility study for turning the field into a spaceport for suborbital spacecraft such as Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two and XCOR's Lynx. In the longer term, spacecraft could link Houston to Singapore in as little as three hours, according to airport system director Mario Diaz. Meanwhile, state Representative Rene Oliveira (D-Brownsville) introduced a bill that would allow county commissioners to close a local beach for launches from the proposed SpaceX launch site in Cameron County. The bill is part of a flood of spaceport-related legislation that has been introduced recently in the Texas legislature."

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Houston to Singapore In As Little As Three Hours.. (5, Funny)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about a year and a half ago | (#43112587)

(Line for the 10-mile-high club forms to the rear of the craft.)

"and thank-you for riding Virgin Galactic. We hope you'll come again."

Re:Houston to Singapore In As Little As Three Hour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43112745)

Texans, please choose your Malaysian prostitutes.

Re:Houston to Singapore In As Little As Three Hour (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43112981)

Take away from the every-day citizen(beach) and give more to the wealthy(space travel). How about also increases taxes on gas to compensate for the spacecraft fuel costs too?

Seriously, why on earth does anyone need to travel to another part of the world any faster than a private jet can already do??? Secondly, someone flying a private just because they can is so inconsiderate of the amount of pollution they are producing just so they get that convenience.

The telephone works great for sending voice instantly around the world for pennies and about 0 pollution, if you need video, the internet can do that too!

Re:Houston to Singapore In As Little As Three Hour (3, Informative)

inflex (123318) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113219)

Because if you want the money to flow back to the "masses" you better find something interesting for those "rich bastards" to spend it on, rather than having it stagnate in some bank account. Money is most effective when it is in use, lubricating the economy engine.

Re:Houston to Singapore In As Little As Three Hour (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43114203)

Seriously, why on earth does anyone need to travel to another part of the world any faster than a private jet can already do???

Because sometimes really expensive shit needs to be done right now. Putting it off for a half a day or more can cost a lot of money. Maybe your boss needs to sign off in person on a big deal. Maybe you need a one of a kind part delivered to keep a critical system up.

Whether there's enough of that sort of need to support a suborbital travel industry at this time is a big, unanswered question.

Re:Houston to Singapore In As Little As Three Hour (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#43115431)

Better be a pretty small part.

Re:Houston to Singapore In As Little As Three Hour (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43116759)

Better be a pretty small part.

Sounds like any such suborbital transportation system would be moving several tons of payload at a time. It wouldn't have to be that small.

Re:Houston to Singapore In As Little As Three Hour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43113179)

virgin Galatic and all these other new space

what corp is getting ready to take over heavy lifiting needs?

spacex,

lol just saying, all other corps look nice on paper, when you deliver sometthing let me know, 8)

Re:Houston to Singapore In As Little As Three Hour (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113383)

(Line for the 10-mile-high club forms to the rear of the craft.)

10 miles is only 52,800 feet, which isn't terribly high. Heck, a lot of airliners these days are pushing that regularly. 100 mile high, now...

Science (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43112627)

Science, shame they don't teach that in Texas schools.

Re:Science (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43112789)

Hey guess what? I am a Texas high school student and I am currently doing chemistry homework.

Re:Science (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43112793)

Hey guess what? I am a Texas high school student and I am currently doing chemistry homework.

No you're not, you are wasting time on /.

Re:Science (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#43115423)

But your doing it for Jesus, aren't you.

Re:Science (0)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year and a half ago | (#43112827)

That, and it's not theft only if you're a business and bring it to Texas.

Re:Science (3, Interesting)

Dasuraga (1147871) | about a year and a half ago | (#43112853)

I get that it's a joke, but I'm really tired of hearing people demean Texas' education system.
While the state might not do so well in math and science test comparisons compared to other states, the state excels at making many things available to students that are rare if non-existent elsewhere. The right to a good education is in the state constitution (which also asks for the foundation of "first-class" state universities: University of Texas and Texas A&M), and implements a very broad wealth redistribution scheme (Robin hood plan), which makes sure that even very poor school districts can pay for AP classes, music electives, sports facilities, the works. Children who show potential are given chances from a very early age to enter advanced-placement courses, and many efforts are made by teachers to identify children who can enter these.

I honestly think that the low rankings of Texas in Math and Science comparisons is more due to demographics than the school system, and in more general rankings the school fares much better. In any case, it goes to great lengths to let children broaden their horizons with their peers, independent of social class.

Re:Science (0)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#43112941)

So you're saying it's the people that're stupid and that it's not the schools' fault? Somehow, that doesn't seem a whole lot better or laudatory...

Re:Science (4, Interesting)

Dasuraga (1147871) | about a year and a half ago | (#43112977)

No, I'm saying that the demographics of Texas (5th poorest state in the nation by poverty rate, among other things) cause the lower rankings, not the school system. The school system gives the tools for motivated children to learn, but when these children don't get three meals a day....

Re:Science (2)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113137)

Gotcha! I'll buy that line of reasoning. I remember reading somewhere that when the school system provides a free lunch, kids do better. When the school system provides a free breakfast (also, or instead, I forget which...) the kids do even better. This is most effective when the kids getting the free or reduced cost meals are not pointed out and do not feel like they're different from the other kids who don't get the free meals (like not having special meal card colors or anything).
.
There's also the "discount approach" where the tax burden is decreased and people are told that the "extras" can be paid for by the parents or by extra fees. Then, the rich area schools get their enrichment or after-school program paid for by parents who can afford it, whereas the poorer neighborhoods all do without. Yet the political idiots can claim that all of the schools are equal because the same opportunity is afforded to all, the poor just aren't getting the money together to give their kds the bonuses. [french nobility idiot's quote: the law in all its majesty also forbids the rich from sleeping under the bridges as much as it forbids the poor from doing so. The rich just have no need for sleeping under the bridge].
.
Third rant [you've set me off for these rants, i apologize]: somehow they can always find the money for the football teams ( for the uniforms, for the sod to get redone yearly, for the scoreboards, for the extra bus trips, for all of those extra items), yet there's never enough money to do the artistic extracurriculars or the scientific or others (either enough money for math club or for model U.N. but not for both, or we have to choose between music programs or visual arts, but not both). Texas must have an extra large problem with football, at least if everything I saw on Friday Night Lights was to be believed. I live in La Jolla (San Diego, CA). What's the football situation really like in Texas? Does it really suck up all of the money and the oxygen from the rest of the school system?

Re:Science (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113283)

there's big oil, patent lawsuits and guns... what else could texans possibly want?

Re:Science (1)

Opyros (1153335) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113375)

The quote [wikiquote.org] you're probably thinking of is this, from Anatole France's The Red Lily:

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

Re:Science (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113657)

Football is certainly a popular sport in Texas both for players and spectators. Where I lived it was definitely thought of as culturally important to a decent number of students, but that of course varied widely across the student body. And it was well funded with a nice field, good equipment, etc. On the other hand other activities didn't seem to suffer from lack of funding. I was in Academic Decathlon, the chess club, debate, and the tennis team. We had art classes, theater, band, orchestra, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, baseball, and pretty much everything else (except model U.N. I do not recall that). I just visited the schools web site and it list 56 clubs/extracurriculars, 12 sports, and 8 arts programs. So I'd have to say plenty of oxygen to go around. I did live in suburban Dallas though, whereas Friday Night Lights is depicting rural Texas about which I have no experience to judge.

Re:Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43114545)

That really depends on how school districts structure their cash flow, but most football programs do get a lot of attention and money. Similar to collegiate atheletics, successful programs can cover the majority of their own costs via student activity fees, fundraisers, limited sponsorships (bascially amounts to the game announcer saying thank you to a local buisiness either pre or post game, similar to PBS thank you spots) and donations. That being said if budgets get tight football programs are usually the last to suffer. The old movie Mr Holland's Opus pretty much hit the nail on the head with the line "The day they cut the football budgets in this state is the end of Western Civilization as we know it."

Re:Science (3, Informative)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#43115571)

What you and everyone else is missing is that Texas is burdened with educating hundreds of thousands, if not more, illegal aliens. In fact, Kids come across the border to attend our school. Why? Fuck if I know, but the courts said we have to let them in for some reason.

So now you have to feed them, hire Bi-Lingual teachers, and then deal with the inevitable gang problems. Just look at San Antonio ISD.

The district my kids went to is rated tops in the nation in all the math and science scores and guess what? 99.9% of the kids that go there speak English and are not in gangs. If you think I should pony up more tax dollars to make sure a bunch of illegals on the border get a nice stadium and band instruments, then I think you should too.

As for Football, aside from the initial capital investments, the programs are run mostly on ticket sales and other fund raisers. Same thing with the Bands.

Re:Science (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#43116445)

The sports games (in theory) pay for themselves in various ways.

Re:Science (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43113341)

Which is the problem. Texans are too poorly educated to actually effect changes that would fix any of that. They're too busy getting on about how evil the gubmint is.

Re:Science (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43114037)

Your comment would carry more weight if it didn't say right there in the headline that they were trying to build a steam-powered spaceport...

Re:Science (0)

Theaetetus (590071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43115341)

I get that it's a joke, but I'm really tired of hearing people demean Texas' education system. While the state might not do so well in math and science test comparisons compared to other states, the state excels at making many things available to students that are rare if non-existent elsewhere. The right to a good education is in the state constitution (which also asks for the foundation of "first-class" state universities: University of Texas and Texas A&M), and implements a very broad wealth redistribution scheme (Robin hood plan), which makes sure that even very poor school districts can pay for AP classes, music electives, sports facilities, the works. Children who show potential are given chances from a very early age to enter advanced-placement courses, and many efforts are made by teachers to identify children who can enter these. I honestly think that the low rankings of Texas in Math and Science comparisons is more due to demographics than the school system, and in more general rankings the school fares much better. In any case, it goes to great lengths to let children broaden their horizons with their peers, independent of social class.

Straight from good points headlong into the racism we tend to expect from Texans.

Re:Science (1)

Dasuraga (1147871) | about a year and a half ago | (#43115419)

Demographics was a bad choice of word. I mainly meant the fact that Texas is super poor(5th poorest in the nation by poverty rate), and there's a pretty well documented correlation between poverty and educational results.

Re:Science (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43116065)

Demographics was a bad choice of word. I mainly meant the fact that Texas is super poor(5th poorest in the nation by poverty rate), and there's a pretty well documented correlation between poverty and educational results.

Fair enough. Criticism withdrawn.

Re:Science (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43115383)

add to that, if you're a resident of texas, and you join the military, your college education is free (at least to the state schools, honorable discharge required). And that's on top of your federal gi bill benefits.

Re:Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43115619)

they're just jealous that God has ordained Texas to be a spaceport state.

Re:Science (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113239)

Eh, teaching is overrated. When you have a GDP that is sufficient to land you between Australia and Russia, you can afford to simply import the folks with book learnin'. See: NASA.

Of course, that doesn't stop some of us from getting one of those edjumacations. When I wanted to study Computer Science some more (instead of following up on one of the three separate internships I had in the space industry as an undergrad), I ended up pursuing my graduate coursework at a major Texas university, for instance. Now, I'll be the first to admit that having to type and move my cursor while on horseback took some getting used to, but it's really quite enjoyable after awhile.

Re:Science (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113671)

If you keep your extra battery under your stetson it's easier to balance.

Space ports are nice and all. (-1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43112639)

http://www.emdrive.com/ [emdrive.com] Why not develop this technology so everyone can use their microwaves and a copper cone to have a spaceport in their driveway?

Governments could even rake in tons of revenue and taxes on emdrive certification and licensing fees. This would be great for the economy.

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year and a half ago | (#43112681)

Because the EM Drive is today's cold fusion. Call me when they have a working prototype zooming through the solar system.

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43112845)

Cold fusion exists. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_transmutation [wikipedia.org] - there's even articles citing NASA Langley types talking about how they think its a reasonable research but they don't for whatever politics or funding issues.

The difference between this and cold fusion though is that this is cheap to experiment on. Copper and microwave frequency transmitters are not that expensive. 4.5 ghz at what power I don't know exactly though. But it doesn't look like a lot and from white papers I read on their website, their own and the Chinese ones it seems like it should be reproducible.

We may not understand the math for this, but I am surprised some people out there haven't dumped a few thousand dollars into the tech to make it more efficient and powerful.

There's been some argument that because you can't patent something you can't explain in a scientific way means no large industry will pursue the tech without math they can legally use to protect their investment.

That doesn't mean me linking it here seeing if other people might be interested in it is dumb. Yeah I'm doing free advertising for what I think is the next best thing. It's a serious technology though. It's just immature and we don't have a way to make CAD spit out plans for us automatically. Its going to require trial and error.

I'm seriously tempted to try and reproduce it on a small scale.

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43112855)

Cold fusion technically exists but doesn't release any useful amount of energy. So stating the fact cold fusion exists doesn't discredit the OP. This drive is a scam and violates laws of physics. Go make one and tell me how awesome it is.

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43112905)

Equating cold fusion to an emdrive and a scam makes stating cold fusion as existing relevant. Most people put it off out of hand. I put it here for people to do further research. There's plenty of debate as to whether cold fusion is feasible as a power generating technology. Its not out of the race yet. I believe the same thing about emdrive.

If your refering to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EmDrive [wikipedia.org]

It doesn't violate the conservation of momentum because it is speculated to be an OPEN SYSTEM.

I am putting more faith in the 2008 Chinese peer review then random wiki about it and it also makes sense the way its described on the emdrive website.

It's plausible that you can get thrust from this machine. Regardless of the physics involved.

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43112935)

Also see the wiki talk page for more debate about the articles in question.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:EmDrive [wikipedia.org]

"Can someone edit the analysis page, it was blatently written by someone who hasn't read either the New Scientist article or the more recent Eureka article. It doesn't violate either the conservation of momentum or energy, as it uses energy!

Every article on it specifically states that when the equipment accelerates it loses thrust. If anyone would like to check, this happens with every form of propultion and just because it doesn't spew matter out of it doesn't make it reactionless."

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113491)

The photon emission of that device can't possibly produce enough momentum to create the observed thrust. The device has not been tested in a vacuum chamber, and no, a hermetically sealed box full of air doesn't mean it wouldn't move (you can swim around in a closed box full of water, for example).

You might also ask why it's got such off-kilter marketing. It's a bad thruster, but implied it would be great at levitating something that didn't accelerate? Why is that not the headline element - reactionlessly applying a force to something with just energy (i.e. pretty much an antigravity device).

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43113591)

Its not reaction-less. Energy goes in and thrust comes out. Its an open system. I've seen the argument that the microwave energy is moving close to the speed of light so it creates two frames of reference. I don't fully understand this. This invokes Einsteins special relativity.

The simpler explanation I can see is like voyager having a thermal differential and getting radiation pressure to speed it up. This normally would not work, but since the microwaves travel near light speed it does in an enclosure because the two different sized ends act like different frames.

Anyway this is just a theory as to why it works.

Ever seen the mythbusters episode were they electrically ionize the air around wires to levitate a wire ring? People use to think that was fake to until it was figured out.

I can't say the Emdrive is a known technology. But its worth investigating rather then just quoting some textbook physics and saying "impossible".

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43114223)

It doesn't violate the conservation of momentum because it is speculated to be an OPEN SYSTEM.

With no mechanism for coupling the EM drive to the rest of the universe. Hence, why it breaks conservation of momentum.

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113353)

This drive is a scam and violates laws of physics.

the laws of physics don't "govern" anything... they are merely generalized observations

i'm not saying that they aren't useful; they can predict behavior under the limited conditions for which the laws were based

you're just one of those sheeple who think because you read something in a physics book then it must be true

there are probably more sheeple that think jesus walked on water and was the son of god because they read it in a book

keep drinking the religious kool aid... fool

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43114237)

i'm not saying that they aren't useful; they can predict behavior under the limited conditions for which the laws were based

Those "limited conditions" happen to be all of reality. We have yet to observe any sort of phenomena that violates the basic conservation laws. If the EM Drive was a true violation of conservation of momentum, then we would have seen the effect elsewhere first. It's not the first combination of EM and general relativity, for example. Particle colliders would probably see the effect as well.

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#43116649)

Not to defend this drive or even enter into discussion on it, but...

If the EM Drive was a true violation of conservation of momentum, then we would have seen the effect elsewhere first

This statement is disingenuous. You could make it about every discovery.

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43114217)

We may not understand the math for this, but I am surprised some people out there haven't dumped a few thousand dollars into the tech to make it more efficient and powerful.

The math for the EM drive doesn't work because it violates conservation of momentum. There's no lack of understanding here.

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43116481)

That's fine, I will not argue that. I will argue though that fire, the wheel, and a lot of chemistry was done without science as pseudoscience. Just because we don't fully understand something doesn't mean it cannot be harnessed and used and experimented on.

To dismiss something because it doesn't fit our understanding and call it a scam is short sited. And frustrating to people who are curious.

Anyway I thought I would be a smart ass and bring it up here. To see if I got any more informative replies, then it's impossible. Not that it's impossible is an invalid reply, but it was more or less already known as an answer ;p

I'm not even sure we can bring in the conservation of momentum as an issue because of how it is claimed to work. I linked the page because anyone who's really interested in physics can go have a read of the pdfs and articles and decide if thats really the case. The wiki article calling it a scam and bringing up the conservation of momentum is biased and based on false information, thats why I linked the talk page.

I understand that my lack of making a sound argument for all this without citations means I will mostly be ignored or flamed. And that is OK.

Thanks for your time =)

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43116711)

To dismiss something because it doesn't fit our understanding and call it a scam is short sited. And frustrating to people who are curious.

What "something"? There's no evidence or theoretical backing for the claim that the EM drive does anything. It's worth noting here that no one has seen a violation of conservation of momentum. Every such case where someone claims they have observed such turns to be observation error or fraud.

I'm not even sure we can bring in the conservation of momentum as an issue because of how it is claimed to work.

There's no mechanism by which momentum can be transferred from the system to the outside world, but the EM drive needs that in order to work.

Re:Space ports are nice and all. (3, Interesting)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113053)

Why not develop this technology so everyone can use their microwaves and a copper cone to have a spaceport in their driveway?

Yes indeed .. why not? That's one of those quintessential questions. It's like the question "Why aren't we all driving around in cars powered by Tesla's black box" or "Why are we still burning fossil fuels when the problem of abundant energy was solved nearly a hundred years ago" or "Why are we all working 40 hour weeks when there's enough automation to work 12 hour weeks" or "Why are we clinging to a dying monetary system that serves no purpose" or "Why do people starve to death on a daily basis when there's no need for it" or "What's causing the current global environmental changes" or "Why does religion have such an improperly powerful position in society" or "Why do people raising valid question get modded as trolls".

Take the red pill.

Now you can leave Texas at Mach 10. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43112699)

The only problem is...nobody wants to come back.

With all the stolen businesses from other states (0)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year and a half ago | (#43112839)

It only accelerates the speed of cattle rustling of businesses to Texas(sans workers unfortunately) while making sure it is too expensive for regular people to use it.

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (2)

akboss (823334) | about a year and a half ago | (#43112945)

We dont want your unwashed masses, if we did we get them cheaper just over the border (or home depot). We do want all your businesses to relocate here sans employees (we will provide). Gun makers should move here too as the rest of you really dont want or need them but they are part of our heritage. I bet we could swing a deal and send say Houston to Detroit and you give us Ford.

It's not our fault... (2)

Nova Express (100383) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113061)

...that other states keep driving business out with higher taxes, more bureaucratic red tape, burdensome regulations, and corrupt closed shop union cronyism.

This is why California keeps driving businesses to Texas [battleswarmblog.com] .

Also, Texas now ranks higher than California in standardized test scores [washingtonexaminer.com] , both in aggregate, and in each demographic ethnic group [typepad.com] .

For a more in-depth discussion of these points (with numerous statistics to back it up), see Chuck DeVore's The Texas Model: Prosperity in the Lone Star State and Lessons for America [amazon.com] .

Yet Texas's(and others) government is complicit (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year and a half ago | (#43115173)

While tax policy might provide an easy out if one of the states involved is California, replace it with a state not so far off the chart. The governments of these business-sycophantic states cannot create new businesses on their own but rely on other states to create and grow them. The mentality in these states is that if you do not own a business, you must be denied freedom.

When a state government actively pursues businesses, they not only remove jobs from a state (usually with as much stealth as possible as to not alarm the public and block it then and there), they fail to generate the promised jobs in the new state, and most importantly fail to promote to workers that the new state is worth moving to for the long term (aside from few exceptions). This applies to any state that puts its living-in-the-flesh constitutents in a lower priority than those created of legal fictions.

Individuals at fault? Not really.
Governments to blame? Definitely.

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (0)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113083)

How does one steal a business? Am I stealing your wife if I tell her that I won't beat her as much as you do and she comes to me?

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43113105)

Hey baby, come with me, I've got all this fancy stuff in the kitchen, you won't even notice that you're barefoot, and you can be sure you'll enjoy popping out a few babies.

I know Texans want to believe they're living in Paradise on Earth, but not everybody drinks their brand of tea.

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (0)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113161)

Please do not reply to my insightful posts with your idiotic ramblings.

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43113189)

Ah, arrogant pride. That's surely going to persuade. After all, you just want the freedom to dictate conversation, and since your words are so much better than anybody else's, you truly deserve that power.

Thanks for convincing me not to drink the Texas Tea.

Maybe you should learn some humility.

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113217)

After all, you just want the freedom to dictate conversation, and since your words are so much better than anybody else's, you truly deserve that power.

Thank you for being so reasonable. Many of you carbetbagging yankees simply don't understand how precious my opinions are, but I respect you for being one of the few to admit it.

Thanks for convincing me not to drink the Texas Tea.

So long as you don't stop eating Texas beef stew [imgur.com] or Texas pizza.

Maybe you should learn some humility.

You're right. I forgive you.

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43113243)

How beneficent of you, why truly your forgiveness is worth slightly less than a used roll of toilet paper.

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113327)

A roll of used toilet paper? Who the hell took that much used toilet paper and reassembled it into a roll. Something only a yankee would think up, no doubt.

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (1)

Soluzar (1957050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113461)

Recycled, used... is there so much of a difference, ultimately?

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43115533)

Somebody can't seem to grasp that a used roll of toilet paper is...bare.

I guess your ability to follow a metaphor is lower than I thought.

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43115865)

Used roll of toilet paper =/= Roll of used toilet paper.

I think somebody has been staring into the sun too long.

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113387)

do you think chuck norris should learn some humility too?

*punches you*

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43115381)

He's already had to do so. Though he wasn't half as senile crazy as Clint Eastwood.

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43115671)

Texas has the 2nd largest population in the country (behind only California).
Texas has the 2nd largest economy (again, behind California, and only slightly), larger than most independent countries.
Texas is one of the few states that contributes more to the federal wallet than it recieves.
Texas has a top notch education system that utilizes wealth redistribution (thats what it is even if not called that) ensures the poorest school districts still get adequate funding.
On top of that it has many state run aid programs to put kids into college.
Veterans who are Texas residents get a free ride through college.
Texas has some of the healthiest residents int he nation, and one of the best healthcare netowrks
Also, more hospitals per capita than any other state, and state programs to people who cant affords it.

You can keep saying they're backward, but Texas is actually one of the most progressive states in teh nation, particularly for a "conservative" state (except its not really conservative; 45/55 split on votes, not very one sided).

but what is clear, is that you're simply an ignorant moron who has never actually been there, and knows absolutely zero about the state.

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117027)

What's clear is that you're an apologist for Texas, providing a few bold claims about Texas, while papering over the negative sides.

Notice no mention of anything like how Texas had to cover its budget deficits with Federal stimulus money. No mention of how Texas's Rick Perry went to California trying to poach businesses from the Golden State. No mention of how poor school districts in Texas are actually performing. No mention of the actual health of Texans (Texas is the 12th most Obese state in the nation and its sheer population means it has a lot of fat people) , or the problems with emergency rooms in Texas.

You remind me of the Wingnuts to be discussed here:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/04/01/1075007/-Wingnut-stereotyped-California-versus-wingnut-stereotyped-Texas

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/15/1007146/-Blue-California-s-Economy-vs-Red-Texas-Not-What-the-Conventional-Wisdom-Suggests

Take out the oil business, an accident of geography, and Texas won't look so good at all.

Re:With all the stolen businesses from other state (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#43116681)

Good to see that bigotry is alive and well on slashdot.

Re:Now you can leave Texas at Mach 10. (3, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113073)

Which explains why the state recently gained additional seats in the House of Representatives. It's growth rate is outpacing the national average by a decent amount since people are moving into it at a pretty rapid rate. And, honestly, having moved here a little over a decade ago, I can see why. Sure, there's some truth to the various stereotypes, but having lived for roughly equal amounts of time in California, Florida, and Texas, I'd pick Texas over the other two any day. The people are nicer, you get a LOT more bang for your buck in the housing market, and there's high demand for folks with the sorts of skills the commenters here at Slashdot have. You'll deal with crazy people anywhere you go, but at least the Texas crazies are pleasant enough to be around.

Re:Now you can leave Texas at Mach 10. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43113093)

Whoosh!

But seriously, if you think Texas crazies are pleasant enough to be around, you haven't met JR.

Messing with Texas (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43112713)

Texas: building for the Space Age, educating for the Bronze Age.

Re:Messing with Texas (2)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113397)

you forgot: shooting their guns till Old Age

Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43112719)

The whole plan relies on people being lifted up by the Rapture.

Oh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43112757)

Private space ports! How glorious! Just like in the 1970s with OTRAG! Oh wow!

Cronyism at its finest (0)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year and a half ago | (#43112811)

Since it's for the few and does not cater to the many, it's just cronyism done in the traditional Texas way.

Re:Cronyism at its finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43113121)

As opposed to all those companies opening free spaceports for the poor, right?

Re:Cronyism at its finest (5, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113207)

Indeed! How can they possibly justify suggesting that a large-ish military/NASA airport within spitting distance of Johnson Space Center be used as a spaceport?! Why, next thing you know, they'll try and pass it off as common sense. One person I met had the gall to suggest that because Houston is one of the largest urban centers in the nation, is within a short driving distance of 3 of the top 5 seaports in the nation (which might make transporting parts for these craft easier), and has a high concentration of individuals connected to the space industry, it makes sense to put a starport there. How dare there! Harumph.

Re:Cronyism at its finest (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | about a year and a half ago | (#43115233)

WARNING: A Texan's (and especially a Houstonian's) definition "a short driving distance" may not correspond with common definitions found elsewhere in the country.

Re:Cronyism at its finest (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#43116429)

Quite true. It's worth pointing out that I was thinking in terms of cargo shipping rather than passenger transport with that particular point, hence why I added that parenthetical statement above. Obviously, a 4-5 hour drive from Corpus Christi to Houston (which is the most distant of the 3 seaports I was referring to) is more than pretty much anyone would consider a "short drive" (even a Houstonian!), but if you're comparing it against a typical drive that a flatbed semi would have to take to deliver a large part for a spacecraft to the area (e.g. taking streets/highways all the way from Florida and across I-10), it's a lot less difficult to deal with. Plus, Houston itself has the second busiest port in the nation, and that's just a few minutes away from Ellington Field.

Space launch has a very low rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43112931)

The number of launches to space is very low. I believe the FAA put around 50 major rocket launches, in the entire world last year. All the world's rocket launches could be handled form a single space port. ESA's French Guiana spaceport is probably the best one. The United States already has infrastructure at Cape Canaveral. I believe there is a glut of rocket models and spaceports in the United States, and world wide. Texas should stay out of the space launch business because of that.

Re:Space launch has a very low rate (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113153)

In 2010 there were close to 75 launches worldwide, of which about 30 were commercial launches.

That said, with the rapid pace of commercial space development, it's likely that we'll see new vehicles in the "near future" that could start to deliver on the promise of passenger spacecraft and the like, so preparations should be made with that eventuality in mind. Even so, we're several years away, at a minimum, and in the meantime Ellington is still being actively used by NASA and the military, so it's not like they're letting the airport go to waste. They're simply getting the paperwork done so that the airport will be ready when the craft are ready, and considering that Ellington is just a few minutes away from Johnson Space Center, there is an absolutely massive number of engineers, technicians, developers, specialists, and other sorts of experts in the space industry just around the corner in case they need to be consulted or something goes wrong. As such, locating one of the nation's first spaceports there makes perfect sense.

Re:Space launch has a very low rate (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113409)

if it weren't for baikonur (or however it's spelt) and the russians, there would be much less (not to mention there would be no space stations to visit either)

the russians basically ARE the global space industry, with only a few minor exceptions

mod dOwn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43113043)

First they make a Linux port (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43113081)

First they make a Linux port, and now a Texas space agency acquires them! Awesome! This should make for an excellent version of space invaders!

Re:First they make a Linux port (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113411)

the texan patent lawyers will be all over that

Underutilized spaceports (2)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113085)

New Mexico already was screwed by Virgin Galactic on this. The state built Spaceport America [spaceportamerica.com] for Virgin. Then Virgin demanded a better deal, and got it. Once in a while Armadillo Aerospace launches some test rocket from there. The terminal building is used for bus tours.

Re:Underutilized spaceports (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43115463)

to be honest, what were they thinking putting one in New Mexico in the first place? int he future, it might be a great spot. but right now? its too far from its theoretical customer base. and what were they thinking building it before they even had a businees plan/model to make money from? Spaceport America was a cool idea, but it lacked a lot of common sense.

Re:Underutilized spaceports (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43115933)

to be honest, what were they thinking putting one in New Mexico in the first place?

Proximity to White Sands Missile Range, for one thing. It's almost like you build spaceports in the middle of nowhere because once the rockets go up, if anything goes wrong, you do care where they come down.

Re:Underutilized spaceports (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43116117)

except virgin galactic doesnt use vertically launched rockets.
they use a mothership that drop launches a reusable spaceplane.
as such, they can launch from pretty much anywhere, and the need of a clear "ballistically downrange" area is unneeded.
and again: they are in the middle of nowhere, many many miles away from the things and people they intend to serve. my other post covers it better, but Spaceport America is absolutely stupidly located. they need to be co-located with existing infrastructure until the industry is large enough in its own right to justify its own infrastructure supply lines.

Singapore spaceport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43113147)

Where are they gonna put that one?

Re:Singapore spaceport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43113361)

In India, duh.

Money Money Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43113599)

"Round the bowl, down the hole, go Tide go."

XD

New Mexico Spaceport? (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about a year and a half ago | (#43113885)

Designed, built and operated by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA), Spaceport America is nearing completion of the first phase of construction, which includes basic operational infrastructure such as an airfield, launch pads, terminal / hangar facility, emergency response capabilities, utilities and roadways

Umm, there's already a spaceport under construction and really close to Texas.

Re:New Mexico Spaceport? (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year and a half ago | (#43115047)

I know in America we suck at geography.... but New Mexico is on the west side of Texas. Houston in on the east. When I was little we would drive into Texas from Louisiana (east side) and the sign on I10 read "Welcome to Texas. Beaumont 25 miles. El Paso 890 miles." You might consider 890 miles pretty close, but I think it would be one heck of a commute...

Re:New Mexico Spaceport? (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43115573)

it's "really" close to the western tip of texas.....which puts it really far away from 99% of texas.

it's also in an absolutely stupid location. it's as if no one did a feasibility study or anything. there is no nearby population center. there is no nearby logistical transportation lines (major freeway, freight railline, major airport, etc). its int he middle of freaking no where. who's going to use it? super rish, super bored people....and thats it.

in order for a space port, spance-trans company to work realistically, at this time, in the infancy of the industry, they MUST integrate with the existing infrastructure and existing transportation industries.

Spaceport America is the equivalent of trying to create the NASCAR race in the 1870s, before most people even heard of automobiles, let alone used them or apreciated them.

Disneyland with tax money (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43114369)

A "_____"port is a transportation and commercial node - but there's no transport or commerce of note taking places at these "space"ports... just glorified amusement park rides. They're being built (with tax dollars) for no purpose other than allowing airport mangers and commissions and various state officials to brag about having a "space"port.

Re:Disneyland with tax money (1)

zwede (1478355) | about a year and a half ago | (#43116591)

By that logic the Interstate highway system was a waste of tax money. After all, before the highways were built there weren't that many people travelling between states.

wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43114389)

Steam has only just been finished on Linux, and now it will be used for Spaceport Development? This is great news, I hope that this new Spaceport will be very interesting! Furthermore, it appears that development is happening only in Texas, which I assume can only be a good thing! Does Valve have a special Spaceport-only development team deployed in Texas?

Congratulations to Valve for their continued success!

Great (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117155)

Can we load all of Texas onto a rocket and send it to mars? One way?

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