"Three days after Discovery 's launch ... two planetary scientists are talking with a group of fellow researchers about what should come next. Sipping his drink, Daniel Durda laments that after half a century, only about 500 people have flown in space. Access to humanity's final frontier is still restricted to people employed by a handful of powerful governments and corporations, plus the occasional joyriding mega-millionaire. "I'd prefer for anyone to be able to go, for any reason they choose," says Durda, of the Boulder, Colorado, branch of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)."
- Video: First Suborbital Scientist Class Trains at NASTAR Center, earlier post
- Videos: Flying SpaceShipTwo in a Centrifuge, earlier post
Keith's note: I will be spending the next three days at the NASTAR Center ( http://www.nastarcenter.com ) undergoing suborbital scientist training. The NASTAR Center is the first FAA accredited facility able to meet the training requirements for commercial human spaceflight, both suborbital and orbital. This training involves classroom activities, altitude chamber sessions, and multiple rides in a centrifuge up to 6Gs simulating a ride aboard Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two. I will be posting updates here and tweeting about this at http://twitter.com/nasawatch We hope to live stream some of us riding a full 6G Virgin Galactic flight on Wednesday. Stay tuned.