Space flight *is* rocket science. And expensive in lives.

Bill Whittle comments on the crash of a spaceship.

11/21 – The Firewall – A Crash in the Mojave – Space flight IS rocket science. It is dangerous. So dangerous that people will die learning how to fly in space.


He points out a lot of men died in the Mojave Desert paying for the knowledge and information that allows us to fly around 30,000 major domestic commercial flights per day with zero, count ‘em zero, fatalities in thirteen years.

The copilot on the Virgin Galactic flight, Michael Alsbury, had 1,600 hours flight time as a test pilot. Sixteen hundred hours. Test pilot time. You don’t get any better trained than that.

Mr. Whittle speculates that rigorous training may have been the cause. Stringing together a lot of IFs, it is possible that the ingrained habit of thinking about your next two steps along with looking at and putting your hand on the needed switch may have been, again maybe, may have been the cause of the accident.

The underlying danger is there really is a demon in the air beyond the sound barrier and in space. The demon? It is us.

It is the result of lemurs and monkeys trying to fly faster than a rifle bullet and climb out of the  air entirely and see the world from the weightlessness of by-God outer space just because we want to and just because we can.

This is really hard stuff:

We weren’t made to do this, we have to learn how.

The exciting, wonderful news?

We will figure out how to make travel in space as casual a thing as flying from LA to Denver. I should say that geniuses like Dick Ratan, Michael Alsbury, and pilot Peter Siebold will have to figure that out. I don’t have a fraction of the mental horsepower to do so.

The downside?

More people will die figuring out how to do something so incredibly difficult and unnatural.

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