Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The day the world changed

Next week on Oct 4 will be the 50th year anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite.

We've come a long way in 50 years, but compared to other technological history, space flight hasn't progressed as fast as say, computer technology. For all intense purposes, we're flying with the same technology, slightly refined. All the promised advances of the past 30 years never really panned out, and that's a real shame.

Aviation is kinda the same way - if you look at piston engine technology that powers most of the private aircraft fleets, those engines are just refined versions of the engine that powered the Wright Flyer in its first flight at Kitty Hawk back in December of 1903.

When Sputnik blasted off, the world entered a new age of space flight, but where have we really gone? Man hasn't gone any further than the moon, and we haven't done that since the early 70's. We've sent a few probes way out there - and I mean WAY out there, and we've learned a lot along the way. But mankind is still locked to the surface of this planet.

We need some breakout technologies to transform our flight and spaceflight industries.

Where will the next breakthrough in propulsion come from? Area 51? ;-)

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