Genesis One -- 07/12/06

Bigelow Aerospace has had a successful launch of their Genesis space module.
7/12/06:A Russian Dnepr rocket carrying the Bigelow Aerospace pathfinder mission Genesis I has successfully launched from the ISC Kosmotras space and missile complex in the Orenburg region of Russia.
(From the Bigelow Aerospace Web page)

Well, you know what a space nut I am, so naturally I think this is all very cool. Even beyond that, however, this is such a cool story. Most of the billionaires who are funding space-related ventures are dot com billionaires -- such as Paul Allen (Bill Gates' partner in starting Microsoft), Elon Musk (PayPal), Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com), etc. Robert T. Bigelow -- the founder and venture capitalist behind Bigelow Aerospace -- earned his money in a more old-fashioned way: he owns the Budget Suites of America motel chain.

He has put something like $75 million of his own money into the company. His goal is to have a "commercial space complex" in orbit by 2015 (by which time he estimates he will have invested half a billion dollars of his own money into the company). When he says "commercial space complex" what he means is, he wants to build the first hotel in space and rent rooms to tourists (and business people and engineers and government officials and astronauts).

Today's launch of Genesis-1 (a small scale prototype of the hardware and materials that will go into his hotel) was from the Russian Yasny Launch Base on board a rocket launched by ISC Kosmotras (the ISC apparently standing for "International Space Company") using a converted SS-18 ICBM. (Sort of "swords into plowshares," eh?).

Go Bigelow Aerospace!

[They have free computer screen wallpaper for download at their site.(I've got "Join the Adventure" on mine; it's the lower left one.]

I'm not sure if I'm ready for this or not -- but a site in Scotland will take a picture you send them and age your image through a computer process and send the modified picture back to you. I'm going to try it. I'll post the *shudder* results. That is, assuming that I get anything back... I submitted it about five hours ago so obviously it isn't a quick turn-around. Maybe they run a nightly batch process? Maybe they reject any not coming from U.K. addresses?

Yeah, yeah, I know... all I have to do is look into a mirror to see what I look like when I'm old.

Update -- Never mind. I've not received the updated picture so either it is not working or they exclude non-UK IP addresses or something.

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