Rutan and the future of spaceflight

Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of the first flight into space by SpaceShipOne. As a reminder of that event, and the potential for the future, here’s a video I stumbled across recently, featuring a talk by Burt Rutan at the TED conference last year. He talks about the stagnation he sees in the aerospace industry (which he measures in part in terms of the top speed of aircraft over the decades) and the need for innovation, which he believes will be spurred by a “new capitalist space race”. If you’ve seen Rutan speak previously, you’ll find the theme and content familiar, but it’s a good encapsulation of his thoughts about the emerging private spaceflight industry.

3 comments to Rutan and the future of spaceflight

  • Peter Shearer

    Oh Jeff I didn’t know you hadn’t seen this! I would’ve told you about it a while back! It’s a awesome speech to be sure and he makes a lot of comparisons that are really eye opening.

    I especially like the part about “kids shouldn’t be excited about new camera-phones!” that one struck a cord with me as I keep seeing my peers excited about these little gadgets yet when I ask them what they think of this new space tourism biz they look at me and go “huh???”

    We know somethings wrong when even young people have given up on space. The thing is, they don’t think it’s within their reach… It’s about to be… It might take another ten years but when people realize that becoming an astronaut IS possible… Oh boy, you’re going to see some excited young people! (as well as older of course!)

  • Garry

    Heck yeah this industry is stagnant! Our commercial airliners are basically the same thing as fifty years ago just with fancier avionics and only slighly different manufacturing processes! Same with our spaceships! I hope NewSpace can put some pep into aerospace..

  • Rutan and the future of spaceflight…

    Video of Burt Rutan discussing the future of spaceflight….

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