My Comments on The Virgin Galactic Disaster on The World Service

VirginHere’s a a link to a programme I was involved in for the World Service a few weeks ago, discussing the aftermath of the crash of the Virgin Galactic space craft in the Mojave Desert.  This crash came in the wake of a similar event with an ESA rocket that crashed shortly after lift off in Virginia.

Sadly the Virgin crash cost the life of one of the pilots of the craft, but it raises issues around the viability of space tourism, not least because of the environmental impact of such catastrophic events.  Moreover the question remains as to the point of these sub-orbital flights and if they will ever amount anything other than a quick joy ride on a very expensive roller-coaster for those that can afford the $250,000 ticket price.

There’s much talk during the programme about the cultural impact of these flights and how individuals are inspired by their trips.  I don’t really buy that personally, and think that there’s a lot more that can be done to inspire scientific exploration on the face of this planet if you have half a billion dollars to throw around.

If nothing else Richard Branson could use that money to keep his long forgotten promise to make Virgin Atlantic the greenest airline on the planet.  If that isn’t already an oxymoron.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p029gwpg

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About Ian Middleton

Ian writes a regular column for Retail Week Magazine and has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Evolve Politics and The London Economic as well as contributing comment pieces for national newspapers and magazines. He was the Green Party Parliamentary candidate for Banbury in North Oxfordshire in the 2015, 2017 and 2019 General Elections and is a district and parish councillor in Cherwell in Oxfordshire. Ian has appeared on TV and local and national radio talking about politics and retail. He is an ethical entrepreneur with areas of expertise in retail and social entrepreneurship, but he also writes and comments on music, food, the environment, ethical consumerism, technology, renewable energy and animal and human rights. He is also a trained psychologist, musician, runner, hiker, allotmenteer, vegan, humanist, a committed atheist, beer drinker and compulsive crosser of lines.

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