2009: A Space Odyssey?

In what might be overcompensation for lacking any sea ports, the state of New Mexico is moving ahead enthusiastically with plans to build a spaceport that would be used for, among other things, space tourism. Yesterday, voters in the port’s home of Dona Ana County approved a designated tax to fund the project’s construction. If ...

602775_070406_2001_05.jpg
602775_070406_2001_05.jpg

In what might be overcompensation for lacking any sea ports, the state of New Mexico is moving ahead enthusiastically with plans to build a spaceport that would be used for, among other things, space tourism. Yesterday, voters in the port's home of Dona Ana County approved a designated tax to fund the project's construction. If everything remains on track, the first tourists could be blasting off in 2009.  

British mogul and media hound Richard Branson is behind the venture; his Virgin Galactic plans to charge upwards of $200,000 for those who want to boldly go where no poor man has gone before. That fee would only get you into the upper reaches of the atmosphere, however. Iranian-American Anousheh Ansari set the standard for space tourists last year by ponying up $20 million for a more extensive voyage to the final frontier. So we're still a far cry from the future dramatized in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

There's been no word yet from the Transportation Security Administration on precisely how many ounces of fluid will be permissible on space flights, although they are probably working on instructions on what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency lunar landing.

In what might be overcompensation for lacking any sea ports, the state of New Mexico is moving ahead enthusiastically with plans to build a spaceport that would be used for, among other things, space tourism. Yesterday, voters in the port’s home of Dona Ana County approved a designated tax to fund the project’s construction. If everything remains on track, the first tourists could be blasting off in 2009.  

British mogul and media hound Richard Branson is behind the venture; his Virgin Galactic plans to charge upwards of $200,000 for those who want to boldly go where no poor man has gone before. That fee would only get you into the upper reaches of the atmosphere, however. Iranian-American Anousheh Ansari set the standard for space tourists last year by ponying up $20 million for a more extensive voyage to the final frontier. So we’re still a far cry from the future dramatized in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

There’s been no word yet from the Transportation Security Administration on precisely how many ounces of fluid will be permissible on space flights, although they are probably working on instructions on what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency lunar landing.

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