Inside the Capitol

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Yes, Virginia

Yes, Virginia. There is a West.
Every time the East getsa big storm, most Easterners seem to think it sneaks in somewhere around Dallas and devastates everything from there to the Eastern Seaboard.
Weather forecasters back East aren't much of a help. Most forecasts begin talking about their weather map along about Dallas with little mention that there is a storm building in from the Pacific. Most national forecasters pay little note to the storm's action over the West.
As the storm passes inland, most Westerners chuckle that it will be a big surprise storm back East in a couple of days. It would behoove Easterners to pay better attention during geography class and realize the nation doesn't end with the Eastern time zone.
 

Yes, Virginia

12-19-14 Yes Virginia

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spaceport Blues

When former Gov. Bill Richardson and Sir Richard Branson announced to a large Santa Fe audience, in late 2005,  that Spaceport America would be located in New Mexico, hopes ran high. The timetable called for Virgin Galactic to to finish Spaceship Two to be ready in 2008 and the Spaceport in 2009. During the intervening year, Branson's spaceships would fly out of California.
 
As it turned out, New Mexico's timetable was more realistic. We soon made up the one year lag, and are ready to lift off the project anytime Branson is ready. Branson's latest delay is from Christmas Day this year to August of next year.
 
Meanwhile the citizen astronauts, who were promised lavish surroundings, are looking at the desert and asking where the luxury hotel is. The plan was for Branson to finish that long ago. To make matters worse, the spaceship, designed by Scaled Composites of California, may not be sufficient to reach the edge of space.
 
We may never get there.