Virgin Galactic revealed the designs for its tourist spacecraft. A NASA expert critiques the effort.
A NASA expert critiquing Burt Rutan and Richard Branson?
A NASA expert? What's he going to say - "Um, Burt? Your spaceships don't blow up enough! And they don't cost enough! And they look funny! And um, well, they're all reusable! Madness! Madness!"
I'm reminded of that Far Side cartoon: the one where the cows are building a ramshackle rocket ship in the middle of their pasture and the farmer is leaning on the fence and shouting derisively, "Stupid Cows, you'll never get that thing to fly! What's it run on? Hay? Maybe you'll make it to the moooooooooon! Ha hahahahaha!"
Man, I miss The Far Side.
And really I'm snarking here, the NASA expert is actually none other than Homer Hickam, writer, veteran, and, yes, former NASA engineer. Author of Rocket Boys (the basis for the movie October Sky), and a major expert on manned spaceflight. So, yeah, I guess he's qualified to critique Virgin Galactic's efforts. And it's less a critique and more just observations on the project, most of which are quite favorable.
Also, there are no designs or drawing of Spaceship 2, White Knight 2, or anything else in the Newsweek article. And Hickam doesn't discuss Rutan's design.
So, seriously, poor choice of headline there, Newsweek.
Not that I actually consider Newsweek a source of actual news, but still you'd think somebody there would have done a bit better with the headline.
Anyway, I've got to go move 10 inches of snow out of my very large driveway. So that I can take my son, who has strep throat, to the doctor. So, you know, I'll be gone for a while. Cheers.
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