We will go to space
A few decades from now privately owned space ships will roam through Earth space and perhaps throughout the solar system.
Virgin Galactic appears to have made a historic move towards making this happen, and this time I am not referring to them building a uber-futuristic space port nor sending tourists to space with one of theirs SpaceShipTwo’s. Oh, they will be doing that, next year or so. But what they did in January this year may prove to have much more dramatic ramifications. Let’s see…
Virgin Galactic on Wednesday (January 23rd) unveiled designs for SpaceShipTwo and the WhiteKnightTwo, two vehicles that are designed to usher in private spaceflight. The technology behind the system will have an open architecture “like Linux,” said officials.
This comes from a story titled “Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo; Plans open architecture spaceship”.
And here I was, tongue in cheek, searching for instructions on how to build my own space ship (so I can escape should dreaded predictions for this government-fscked up Earth come true). Little did I know that my little dream isn’t that far from impossible anymore.
With openly available space ship architectures an army of what we could term “space geeks” (many of which are, no doubt, star trek fans) will be all over this looking for ways to not only improve the current design, but perhaps build completely new ship designs. Some of them, with entrepreneurial spirit and some (big) cash in their pockets might even start contracting builders for even better, faster, cheaper space ships – ones that could go on much further than “sub”-orbit and orbit of the Earth.
If you ask me, the genie is out of the bottle. The private somewhat free market finally took the ball (or was allowed to) in order to actually do something exciting about space flight and exploration, something that actually matters to me and you and your.. grandma. We’re talking about Linux for the masses.. er.. did I just say that? We’re talking Space Flight for the masses.
Given these news I don’t feel surprised anymore that someone on 43things is thinking about an “Open Source Space Ship”. I reckon if an alliance of people and companies who really care about this stuff would come together they might not only design private space ships in an open freedomware-like fashion, but actually build them, and build them as such to be operable with little training.
There is really nothing too tangible standing in the way of us starting to buzz around through Earth’s close space within decades in cool private space ships. All the basic technology is there, the market is forming and the idea of breaking out of our atmosphere is common sense since god damn seventies! It’s about time we break free!
I am going to go to space, in my life time.