In the Loop

In the Loop: September 30, 2008 Archive

Space is opening up for business

Posted at 12:36 PM on September 30, 2008 by Sanden Totten (1 Comments)

One giant leap for the private sector.

This week the first privately developed liquid fueled rocket made a successful launch into earth's orbit. It was sent up by SpaceX, a start up funded by the man behind PayPal, Elon Musk.

As you may remember, their last attempt didn't go so well. The ship was toast before making it to orbit. It came crashing down with NASA equipment, a Department of Defense satellite and the ashes of 200 people, including James Doohan, Star Trek's Scottie.

This time they decided to play it safe and just send up some aluminum to stand in for what will hopefully one day be a real payload. SpaceX's stated goal is to launch a set of vehicles "intended to increase the reliability and reduce the cost of both manned and unmanned space transportation, ultimately by a factor of ten."

If they succeed, private companies will soon see space endeavors within their price range. But what will these companies send up? Well, more cargo for NASA is one safe bet. But maybe more energy drinks are soon to follow?

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George Michael, our buddy, arrested again.

Posted at 5:12 PM on September 30, 2008 by Jeff Horwich (4 Comments)

George Michael needs a public restroom. Now. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
I post this not because it is terribly interesting, much less relevant to most of us or even newsy -- but because experience shows that when we have mentioned George Michael in blog posts in the past, it has brought a surprising amount of traffic from distraught (um...angry?) George Michael fans.

GM was arrested in a public bathroom in London late last week for crack possession.

Why, George, why? And why are you doing drugs and otherwise "hanging out" in public bathrooms all the time?

(Are public bathrooms in London that much nicer than what we've got over here? Here are some ratings if ever you're curious for a George Michael-style tour of the public loos. Those in Kensington Palace, not surprisingly, are rated "excellent.")

So, what do you think, Michael-ites? Is this a tragedy, or what?

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