Testing leads to failure, and failure leads to understanding.
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Airplanes were invented by natural selection. Now you can say that intelligent design designs our airplanes of today, but there was no intelligent design really designing those early airplanes. There were probably at least 30,000 different things tried, and when they crash and kill the pilot, don't try that again.
I drove an electric car for seven years because of its advanced technology, not because I have any concerns about energy resources. I have none at all. And when environmentalists say that global warming is dangerous, unprecedented and that we'll have a tipping point for atmospheric carbon dioxide, it's just nonsense.
I was shocked to find that there were actually climate scientists who wouldn't share the raw data, but would only share their conclusions in summary graphs that were used to prove their various theories about planet warming. In fact I began to smell something really bad, and the worse that smell got, the deeper I looked.
Space travel is the only technology that is more dangerous and more expensive now than it was in its first year. Fifty years after Yuri Gagarin, the space shuttle ended up being more dangerous and more expensive to fly than those first throwaway rockets, even though large portions of it were reusable. It's absurd.
The photographs of space taken by our astronauts have been published all over the place. But the eye is a much more dynamic mechanism than any camera or pictures. It's a more exciting view in person than looking at the photographs. Of course, I personally am sick and tired of hearing people talk like that: I want to see it myself!
There was a wonderful little short four-year time period when marvelous things happened. It started in 1908, when the Wright brothers flew in Paris, and everybody said, 'Ooh, hey, I can do that.' There's only a few people that have flown in early 1908. In four years, 39 countries had hundreds of airplanes, thousands of pilots.
To allow public access to orbit, we would need breakthroughs that would lower the cost by a lot more than an order of magnitude and increase safety by a factor of 100 as compared to every launch system used since the first manned space flight. I think airborne launch will be a significant part of the safety solution.