I'm a big fan of private space launches; a thriving commercial space program takes pressure off NASA, makes getting to space easier, and is likely to ensure a long-term presence in space. Not everyone agrees. Like, say, the Socialist Worker Online, an anticapitalist paper in Britain. They have a brief editorial that is, um, not exactly supportive of the endeavor:
Virgin’s Richard Branson is laying on a three and half hour trip 70 miles up into the stratosphere to the edge of space for the world’s super-rich, where travellers can experience just four to six minutes of weightlessness. If you want to book your seat you need to put down a deposit of £100,000, which is a fraction of the final cost. The damage to the environment will be considerable. But it might all be worth it – providing they were one-way tickets.
Wow, it makes you all squishy and warm inside to read that, doesn't it? I guess they only have compassion for their fellow man if he's a repressed worker. Nice. Tip o' the ushanka to Jim Oberg.