It’s not a perfect analogy.  Zeppelins proliferated in both times of peace and war.  Coincidentally or not, the burning and the crash of the Hindenburg in New Jersey was the end of the zeppelin era.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic along with partner Scaled Composites and the Mojave Air and Space Port had an unqualified disaster Friday in California.  One pilot died and one had “major injuries” when the space ship portion detached from its flying escort plane, ignited its engines, then exploded.

The well heeled have already ponied up $250,000 each, in advance, to board an as yet undetermined schedule of live flights – Bieber, Kutcher, Russell Brand, Hawking.  What will it take to put space tourism back on track?  Astronauts died in both the Apollo and Space shuttle programs. They were pilots and scientists, not tourists.  A Time columnist thinks Branson is a reckless cowboy and asks whether a teenage girl is suitable for space travel.

Richard Branson flew to the Mojave after the disaster to (figuratively) pick up the pieces.  He vows to go on.



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