The Register, a British publication that normally specializes in IT news, offers an interesting account of a talk at NASA Ames this week by SpaceDev founder Jim Benson:
SpaceDev founder James Benson had plowed through the majority of his presentation on space tourism opportunities when the cackling broke out. “Will you sit down. I can’t see the screen,” barked one woman. “Well, I can’t hear the lecture. We came hear to listen to Mr. Benson not to hear you gossip,” replied an older Asian lady not much more than 5 feet tall. The squabble escalated from there with both sides agreeing that they despised each other’s lack of social graces.
Reporter Ashlee Vance sees this as a good sign for SpaceDev and suborbital space tourism in general: “We hope that companies such as SpaceDev can deliver on what they promise because they’re getting little old ladies awfully excited about the prospect of zooming off to the Moon in the near future.” Vance notes that Benson believes that the cost of a suborbital ticket will go down to $15,000 to $50,000 in the next seven to 10 years.