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Space Transportation Science

Virgin Galactic's Quiet News: Virgin Now Owns The SpaceShip Company 112

RocketAcademy writes "While all eyes were focused on SpaceX, which is preparing for another launch to the International Space Station, Virgin Galactic quietly put out a press release. Virgin Galactic has acquired full ownership of The SpaceShip Company, which will build production versions of SpaceShip Two. Ownership was previously shared with Scaled Composites, which built SpaceShip One and is building the SpaceShip Two prototype. There have been rumors of strained relations between Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites. This news, which was not announced until after the close of business Friday, raises some interesting questions about Virgin's relationship with Scaled and its plans for the future."
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Virgin Galactic's Quiet News: Virgin Now Owns The SpaceShip Company

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  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @04:15PM (#41570883)

    I'm going to skip the rhetoric and just ask my question as food for thought for anyone who reads this: Why are we building space ships for rich tourists, while real science languishes in the land of budget cuts and resource shortages? Why is it okay for the very wealthy to build yachts in space while poor people starve and wonder if they'll be able to afford the medication they need to stay alive? I know these aren't easy questions -- any answer I can provide seems woefully inadequate. But I think we should be asking those questions too, not just about the businesses, but their relationship to the larger society.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @04:26PM (#41570979)

    Because our society is largely based on capitalist principles which uses the profit motive as an incentive to create economic growth and technological development. Being able to afford space yachts is one of the incentives that encourages this growth.

    That's a lie that's told over and over again to justify massive wealth inequity. But after the first couple of million, you've got enough to live a very comfortable life, and there's no relationship between comfort and a desire to create. In fact, quite the opposite is true: It's adversity that is the mother of invention. We aren't creating multibillionaires because these people are millions of times more productive or valuable than others.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @06:24PM (#41572007)

    And here I thought adversity made you get a second job at McDonald's to pay your rent because your immediate needs are so precarious that you can't afford to think about the long run

    Some people would be happy with just one job; And instead are selling their medications on the street or prostituting so they can keep gas in their car, which is also their home, running on cold winter nights.

    Sure poor people do get creative at stretching their dollars, but rich people get creative at finding ways to make their life more convenient, pleasurable or exotic.

    ... That is not what "adversity is the mother of invention" means. It means that when people get in trouble, they get creative. It doesn't mean there aren't other motivations for creativity, it just means that nothing motivates a person better than statements ending with "or die." Much of our advancement from a pre-agricultural society to present was based on scarcity of a resource. It's also the principle reason why we commit acts of violence. Desperation focuses the mind like nothing else does. That does not mean we should strive to make a society of desperate people, nor does it justify having so many desperate people so a few can live in superfluous abundance.

    It seems painfully obvious to me that a society that prizes personal liberty would know that personal freedoms don't mean much to the starving, sick, or weak. All they want is to not be starving, sick, or weak. Our founding document for this country talks about "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" as essential and undeniable. Why then, do we allow an increasingly smaller number of our population to actually achieve those in any meaningful capacity?

    Wealth inequity is destroying our way of life. There is no justification for it: Every argument you can make for it I can just point to any of the other 19 largest countries (by GDP) and say "No. Wrong." We don't need to be paying CEOs 450 times the income of their lowest-paid worker... in Japan, it's about 23 times. Nobody's going to sit here and tell me the Japanese do not find ways to make their live more convenient, pleasurable, or exotic. They're designing fully animatronic sex dolls right now for shits and giggles... and there are not many Japanese starving to death or dying of preventable causes per capita compared to us.

    Give me an example, any example, of where a multibillionaire, through the act of hoarding money, has benefited society. There aren't any. So we're left with the idea that we need to reward people with billions of dollars. Why? What service does a single person provide that can be worth so much? I can at least entertain the idea that there might be someone, amongst the nearly 7 billion currently on this planet, that may be able to provide some insight, some product, some innovation, so valuable as to justify this.

    But I can't find any examples.

Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.