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The Final Frontier
September 6, 2007 3:44 PM   Subscribe

Primary Terminal: Foster + Partners chosen for Branson's [YouTube] spaceport.
posted by brautigan (26 comments total)

 
Holy shit, the space port looks awesome. I can not wait to go for a ride.
posted by Mr_Zero at 3:52 PM on September 6, 2007


New Mexico's Mojave desert? Someone needs to buy a map, stat.
posted by signalnine at 3:52 PM on September 6, 2007


yonic
posted by found missing at 3:56 PM on September 6, 2007


Space travel is so 90s.
posted by mike_bling at 4:26 PM on September 6, 2007


signalnine writes "New Mexico's Mojave desert? Someone needs to buy a map, stat."

At least they got the right Mexico.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:26 PM on September 6, 2007


Vag-tastic.
posted by SassHat at 4:32 PM on September 6, 2007


Loved the movie, but would it have killed them to get the rights to "The Blue Danube"?
posted by rob511 at 4:32 PM on September 6, 2007


mr_roboto: I'll take what I can get, I suppose.
posted by signalnine at 4:35 PM on September 6, 2007


People at work think it looks like the Millennium Falcon. I think it looks like another sf spacecraft, but I can't put my finger on which one...
posted by backseatpilot at 4:41 PM on September 6, 2007


Something in it's lines reminds me vaguely of Moya.
posted by quin at 5:29 PM on September 6, 2007


When I first skimmed this, I thought they were building a spaceport in Branson, Missouri. And I thought, 'Yakov Smirnov theater and a spaceport? They've got everything!'
posted by klangklangston at 5:32 PM on September 6, 2007


It looks like a bed pan.
posted by furtive at 5:51 PM on September 6, 2007


More here. They plan to fly 500 people a year, at $200,000 per person.
This buys you 6min in total weightlessness.

The way it was: the occasional millionaire would like to do something absolutely breathtaking and very unique. Something on a one-to-one basis just for him. He would pay insanely huge sums for the privilege of being an amateur astronaut. A participant of the human space endevour. He could hope to become a member of an elite group of people. Maybe even a footnote in history.

There is obviously a market for such amateur astronauts excursions. Based on this, one should hope that this is the basis for a good business model. Mass produce it, streamline it, and costs could be reduced to a fraction.

The way it will be: much of the exclusive character is lost. It's still a big deal that people will gladly talk to you about, like skydiving or heliskiing. But you aren't a participant in the human space endevour anymore. You're just a well-pocketed consumer now with something really interesting to tell others of. A glance at the potential first customers:The only person that gives this Disney ride some credence is Hawking, all others make it seem like a publicity stunt. It's still something to talk about but it's not really the final frontier anymore (and also less of a billionaire magnet). Maybe that doesn't matter and it's still a good business model...
posted by umop-apisdn at 6:03 PM on September 6, 2007


Who cares if you don't make it into the history books? You still get to go into space..

I, for one, am happy that rich people are subsidizing the initial costs. This is the very early stage of something very, very big.
posted by bh at 6:51 PM on September 6, 2007


So what happens when the first flight blows up?
posted by null terminated at 6:56 PM on September 6, 2007


That's gorgeous. Stunning. Fits into the New Mexico landscape like butter melts into toast. I'm in awe.
posted by notsnot at 7:48 PM on September 6, 2007


I predict it will really take off when they extend the weightlessness to 7 minutes, the average length of sexual intercourse.
posted by Mr_Zero at 8:07 PM on September 6, 2007


The two-person 13.6 mile high club will be the biggest seller, wait and see.
posted by anthill at 8:13 PM on September 6, 2007


Make that the 62 mile high club!
posted by anthill at 8:14 PM on September 6, 2007


my prediction: sooner or later theres going to be a disaster and some famous rich people are going to die. That will be the end of space tourism for quite some time.

Nice architecture for the spaceport, though.
posted by Avenger at 8:15 PM on September 6, 2007


I'm struggling to reconcile what should be joy at accessible space flight, with horror at the fuel and environmental cost of these flights.
posted by davemee at 11:43 PM on September 6, 2007


I'm struggling to reconcile what should be joy at accessible space flight, with horror at the fuel and environmental cost of these flights.

"If you're going to build a spaceship, you've got to build a green spaceship," Branson said, adding that "the carbon dioxide output from a single spaceflight is on par with those of a business class seat aboard commercial aircraft."

Believe him?
posted by brautigan at 1:23 AM on September 7, 2007


Actually, what this resembles, is the "Flying Sub", from the old 60's show (and movie), "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea". That, in turn, was fashioned after a manta ray. Nice building.

I'm amused that the building generates news. That would be like getting excited over the parking lot at Disney World. A rather advanced building, by the sounds of it, but still, who cares so much about the building for a "space port" where rich people go to experience a mere 6 minutes? Whoever called it a Disney ride was rather accurate,
posted by Goofyy at 3:49 AM on September 7, 2007


A goatse-inspired terminal?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:32 AM on September 7, 2007


I can't wait until they build another terminal in SE Asia and start doing suborbital lobs from here to there in 50 minutes. I can't wait for the Virgin Galactic Intercontinental Spaceship so I can get across the world in 90 minutes.
posted by OldReliable at 12:06 PM on September 7, 2007


brautigan : Believe him?

I might actually; the solid rocket boosters, like those used in the shuttle launches, primary exhaust is hydrogen and oxygen apparently. It creates a giant cloud of water vapor which comes down as rain.

Or so I was told by Jeremy Clarkson in this video. (about 22:15 in)
posted by quin at 12:23 PM on September 7, 2007


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