I have three words for you: Open source spaceflight.
And yes, spaceflight. Like the space shuttle. Like the Soyuz. Like those Heinlein books you read when you were thirteen.
A group called Copenhagen Suborbitals have come together to launch a human being into space and bring them safely to the Earth, without government oversight or corporate administration. They’ve spent three years designing, assembling, and testing the rocket. And, on June 2, 2011, they will launch the rocket into space. This time, they’ll have a dummy in it.
Next time? They’ll have a person in it.
Far away from NASA, far away from SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, some enthusiasts in Denmark are going to send someone into space. Working part time and on donations, they’re going to independently join a very, very small club, composed otherwise only of powerful governments, coalitions, or million-dollar corporations. Out of the goodness of their hearts, a spirit of adventure, and, from what I can tell, an absolute lack of fear.
These people, not NASA, not SpaceX or Virgin Galactic, are going to be the ones to humanize space. Them, and others like them, and the ones who follow them. The technology will diffuse, the expertise will spread, and we’ll see more projects, more people, like this. As a writer, my mind is already on fire. I’ve written before that fading government power and waning commercial interest would snuff out human presence in space. I may just have been proven wrong.
The magazine will be out as soon as we’ve hammered out the technical and formatting difficulties bedeviling it. Until then, I’d like to urge you to donate to Copenhagen Suborbitals. I’d like to see that baby fly.