Is anyone following the civilian space race?
For the last fifty years, space has been the exclusive realm of government agencies. Governments with enough money and clout to pull it off. Granted, a lot of our technological progress has come from the space program. Tang for instance. Oh and those ballpoint pens that write upside down. How cool is that?
But in the last few years we've seen more and more wealthy entrepenours entering their own space programs. And who wants to bet that there's more progress in a year than NASA makes in a decade? Plus, these guys like to party and there won't be that stigma attached to hot extraterrestrial astronaut loving that the government programs have. Just think, no more driving 900 miles in a diaper to straighten out your sex life.
Virgin is planning regularly scheduled galactic flights and claims that soon "every kid will know he can go to orbit in his lifetime." Numerous others are developing their own ideas for cashing in on the concept.
This one guy, Robert Bigelow, has already sent up his own space station. But here's where it starts to bother me. Bigelow's space station is home to some jumping beans and some cockroaches. Cockroaches?
Have you ever had that experience when the nasty people living next door to you move out and the cockroaches they left behind get hungry and start invading your house? You spend hundreds of dollars on exterminators and years cussing those nasty bastards for doing that to you?
Yeah, do we want to be known as the planet that spread cockroaches across the galaxy?