Here at Long Trance, I’ve been followin…

Here at Long Trance, I’ve been following the progress of Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipTwo project, most recently by basically saying that I’m not sure when they’ll ever get off the ground, but they should stop issuing estimates, because no one will believe them.

Well, on the fifth anniversary of the successful X Prize mission by SpaceShipOne, there’s an AP Article about how they still have yet to fly again:

When a private spaceship soared over California to claim a $10 million prize, daredevil venture capitalist Alan Walton was 68 and thought he’d soon be on a rocket ride of his own.

Walton plunked down $200,000 to be among the first space tourists to make a suborbital thrill-ride high above the Earth aboard a Virgin Galactic spaceship.

Now he intends to ask for his deposit back if there’s no fixed launch date by his 74th birthday next April.

Ouch.

In my post linked above, I quote the latest timetable of “testing by the end of 2010, commercial operation by the end of 2011”. Now, in this article, it’s “test flights will begin next year, with full-fledged space launches to its maximum altitude by or during 2011” with “no timetable for the start of commercial operations,” at least, that they’ll release.

More slipping.

I think I’m unfortunately getting to go through the same thing you guys’ generation went through: an impressive and world-changing event (Apollo 11, the SpaceShipOne flight) and then a sudden swerve into mediocrity (Apollo cancellation and Skylab).

It’s almost enough to make you wonder if humanity just isn’t ready for spaceflight.

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