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NASA Wants To Fund Space Taxis 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the would-you-like-a-trip-to-the-stars dept.
NASA plans on using $50 million in stimulus funds to seed development of a commercial passenger transportation service to space. Potential space taxi inventors have 45 days to submit their proposals. The proposals will be competitively evaluated and the winners will be announced by the end of September. It is unclear what other Commodore 64 games NASA plans on making a reality, but I hope Arkanoid makes the short list.

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NASA Wants To Fund Space Taxis

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  • by neonprimetime (528653) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @01:10PM (#29025575) Homepage
    NASA plans on using $50 million in stimulus funds to seed development of a commercial passenger transportation service to space.

    ... More stimulus funds that 99% of the middle class will never see. How is this gonna help my 401k?
  • Re:uh-oh (Score:1, Funny)

    by eln (21727) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @01:17PM (#29025695) Homepage
    I expect Palin will be going around telling everyone about the new amendment to the health care plan that involves using these space taxis to shoot old people into the Sun so we don't have to pay for their health care.
  • Hey! Taxi! (Score:3, Funny)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @01:18PM (#29025717)
    I fondly remember killing thousands of passengers on my 64.
  • Handy (Score:3, Funny)

    by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @01:26PM (#29025849)

    This will come in really handy all those times I have too much to drink and need to get back to my Secret Moon Base.

    And maybe once they figure this out they can build a working escalator at the Reagan Metro stop. Or maybe the Space Taxi's can just moonlight moving luggage up to the platform.

  • by boeroboy (1501771) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @01:49PM (#29026269)

    You'll see that money when the engineers who win the contest lay down an Abe Lincoln in front of you at McDonalds.

    Your employer will never see the money they spent on you while you were on slashdot either.

  • by A. B3ttik (1344591) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @02:02PM (#29026447)
    Space Taxis? Do we really want to trust Arabs with our latest NASA technology?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @03:35PM (#29028173)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @05:11PM (#29029985)

    That's right...because 50,000,000 goes so far when splitting it 305,000,000 ways.

  • Re:uh-oh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Froboz23 (690392) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @05:26PM (#29030127)
    The escape velocity for Earth is only 7 miles per second. With advanced railgun technology, it might be possible to launch a human into the sun at a surprisingly affordable price, once the up-front R&D investment is made. A military grade railgun today can fire a 2kg projectile at 3km/s with 9MJ of energy. To fire a 75kg human at 11.2km/s would require 1.26 GJ of energy, so clearly more research is needed. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if a railgun would work on biological material. It may be necessary to coax the person into a metallic capsule that would be more responsive to the railgun's electrical field.

    As an added bonus, this all-electrical solution is also environmentally friendly. No potentially hazardous rocket propellants to deal with, and the energy to fire the railgun could be generated during off-peak hours to further reduce costs. I think this solution would be far more economical than using conventional chemical-based rocket propulsion to launch old people into the sun.

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