Two things, I love this quote from the Branson article:
Andrew Nahum, the senior curator of aeronautics at the Science Museum and visiting professor in vehicle design at the Royal College of Art, said he doubted it would ever become a profitable enterprise.
“You have got to put it in proportion – what you are doing is something more ambitious than Concorde. Even that was too expensive and never made a buck.”
That sounds horridly like so many quotes I have read, people who doubted flight would work, television, courier services…the list goes on. It strikes me as incredibly short sighted.
And the second from the Benson piece:
So wouldn’t it make sense for NASA to cooperate with Russia and China in a meaningful way as it prepares to send humans into the greater solar system for the first time in history? Such an approach would enable a consolidation of the financial burden,and it would free NASA resources to develop a more ambitious and versatile manned deep-space vehicle.There are plenty of good idealistic reasons, too, for being inclusive. A multilateral effort to open the solar system could be a perfect antidote to our Earthly fractiousness.
It’s high time we took some more giant leaps – together.