November 8, 2003

Interview with Rand...

Phil Bowermaster has a very interesting Interview with Rand Simberg If you read Rand regularly, you've already heard this, but it's nicely compacted here.:

....As is often the case, the conventional wisdom is not particularly wise. I think that they've got things on their head. Launch costs are high, and vehicles unreliable, not because we lack technology, but because we lack markets. We do so little spaceflight that we haven't learned how to do it well, and we don't have any economies of scale. The only obvious large market, that doesn't require other major technological advances (e.g., solar power satellites, Helium 3 fusion), is people who want to go and will pay for the service.

Those payloads are already built, the payload interface is very simple and straightforward (keester and seat) and there are many more being manufactured every day, with unskilled labor. Because the world is growing wealthier, with socialism being replaced by freedom in many places, and adventure travel as an industry is already large and growing, looking to history as a guide to the future is in this case mistaken....

We know slightly (friends of friends) a couple of guys who deal in really high-end antiques. And we get to hear the most astonishing stories. of people pointing at pieces that cost hundreds-of-thousands of dollars, and lightly saying, "I'll take that, that, that...and that."

There's a lot more money waiting to be spent than most of us realize. Imagine what's going to happen when various rich people are all primed to mention casually the new yacht they are having built, or the Manet they picked up for a song....and instead they find themselves forming the audience while their friend describes the view from 100 miles high?

Space tourism is going to explode someday soon.

Posted by John Weidner at November 8, 2003 9:27 AM
Weblog by John Weidner