I’ve been a science fiction fan for as long as I can remember. It’s the fantasy and the dreaming that makes it so alluring to me and it is part of what keeps me thinking of new things.
For the past few weeks I’ve been watching the episodes of Farscape and it got me thinking about those times I wished I could fly out into the stars. The technology is available and has been for some time now but it’s been in the hands of governments and these groups have taken the position that space is a trivial adventure at best. With money being part of the limitation for building your own spaceship the quest for private space travel has also been limited.
Virgin Galatic has taken on the quest for private space excursions but right now it’s more of a high priced rollercoaster ride than anything and really it could easily be so much more. The current system they have in place uses a two-stage plan where a jet carries a rocket nearly into space where the rocket detatches and cruises up for a little zero gravity time. After a brief time the rocket deorbits and lands back at the spaceport.
My thought is that it would be more productive, and maybe more profitable in the long-run, to create an aircraft that uses jets to go up to the edge and then built-in rockets to get up into space. Instead of just an up-n-back for free-floating-frolic, the plane should be able to carry up a cargo pack for the initial purpose of building an in-orbit spaceport and refueling station.
Once the manned stations are set and supplied then the company can do two very important things to make a lot of dreams come true. First, contracts can be earned to run intra-solar missions for private companies and governments alike and second, the company can build and sell both surface-to-space and space-to-space ships. People would be free to partake in whatever business, exploration, mining, or scientific purpose they chose.
If you buy a ship and crash it, get stuck somewhere, or run out of fuel too far from port, that’s your fault and comes in the contract you sign when buying a craft. For those that can manage it and can get what they need from it, then dreams could come true. Once out in space there would be no more government, no more mommy, no more rules and you would be free to roam. It might even jumpstart a whole new way of exploring space we never could have dreamed of under the control of a space agency.
In the meantime, I will try to work on my truck and get my own freedom here. One day though, one day there might be a chance though where I can abscond into space and truly be free.