In this week’s aerospace news we find industry profits up and dreams of space tourism alive and well.
The Los Angeles Times reported July 24, “ Boeing profit jumps 13% in second quarter, beating estimates. Boeing posts net income of $1.09 billion as sales rise 9% to $21.8 billion in the second quarter.”
The Associated Press reported July 24, “Northrop Grumman 2Q net income rises 2 pct. Northrop Grumman 2nd-qtr net income beats Wall Street estimates, 2013 outlook boosted.”
And so on.
Meanwhile, “Boeing Unveils Stylish New Space Capsule,” as Wired News reported July 24. “The new capsule is one of three designs competing for NASA contracts to fly astronauts to low earth orbit.”
And in Popular Science, we learned about something “New For Space Tourists: A Light, Comfy Space Suit.” At a “NASA Tech Day on the Hill,” held in a congressional office building in Washington, D.C., “private space company Final Frontier Design show[ed] off the latest orbital fashion…. The space suit is safe for both suborbital and orbital commercial space travel…. The company premiered the suit as part of NASA’s “Tech Day on the Hill.” According to Pop Sci, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and 16 members of Congress attended the event, “along with over 500 staff and guests.”
Also on July 24, Haute Living reported, “Fasten your seat belt for the ride of a lifetime! Space travel is no longer a fantasy in George Lucas movies—it is now an attainable reality for adventurous folks who can spare $250,000 on Virgin Galactic or book a flight with Space Expedition Corporation at $95,000 that seems to be a bargain (round trip!).”
Haute Living describes itself as “a leading network of luxury lifestyle publications, with bimonthly regional editions in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco…. Haute Living Magazine’s goal is to provide editorial content that is as sophisticated as our readers. With a strong editorial focus on inspiring power players and unstoppable business moguls alongside intriguing editorial on “toys for boys” (private jets, megayachts, supercars, timepieces, and more), Haute Living is targeted towards those who desire and have the means to experience the finest things in life.”
“Toys for boys.” Not my words….
A Haute Living writer reports, “Recently I attended the closing session of the Aspen Institute Idea Festival, which featured Sir Richard Branson who presented his new concept, Virgin Galactic space travel where he revealed Tom and Margo Pritzker of Hyatt Hotels family and Richard Blum, Senator Diane Feinstein’s financier husband signed up for the trip, among other notable supporters.”
According to Forbes, Thomas Pritzer has a net worth of $2.3 billion. Yup. Billion. He’s a cousin of U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker (net worth: $1.8 billion).
Our Haute Living “ambassador” continues, “Earlier this year, I attended the Space Expedition Corporation’s Silicon Valley presentation at the Woodside residence of Honorary Consul General of The Czech Republic Richard Pivnicka and Barbara Pivnicka, Honorary Consul Of The Slovak Republic. Space Expedition has partnered with Vikram Veerapaneni, Founder and President of SaaVee, Inc.—a cloud-computing expert and Silicon Valley supporter of Space Expedition Corp. This event was studded with local investors and engineers from Google and other Silicon Valley firms and space enthusiasts.”
It’s all so depressing….
Another bit of yesterday’s news, on the brighter side, was President Obama’s invigorating “better bargain for the middle class” speech. I agree with him: we need more new good jobs (not more part-time slots at fast-food joints); better education, and more affordable higher education; affordable housing (not more McMansions and gated communities); affordable and accessible health care; retirement security; and “ladders of opportunity” to socioeconomic security.
I like this agenda.