Saturday, 2 March 2019

Democratisation of Space Travel?


It must be the Ides of March! I am normally only too happy to get my news from the BBC but I have become increasingly irate about, what appears to me, their sycophantic coverage of the successful launch of the Spacex 'space taxi' from Cape Canaveral in Florida
(https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42969020. The gushing interviews of space industry-supporting folk (without any balancing opinions) advocated the view that this development might well lead to a 'democratisation' of space travel (anyone could go, if they can afford the mega-bucks involved!) and we could possibly book flights on an app, in the same way we currently book an Uber taxi. Quite apart from the improbability of some of these claims, no mention was made of the likely impact of this activity (if scaled up in that way) on climate change (air travel is a quite modest 'greenhouse gas' emitter by comparison) . But, then, the people likely to suffer most from climate change are not likely to be rich enough to book a space taxi. There does seem to be a lack of joined-up thinking on this issue.

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