Despite the snowstorm headed our way as we speak, the weather should be warmer this weekend, 4/14-15, for Doors Open Denver, where ordinary folk get to wander through architectural la-las that aren't always open to the public or free.
**Random tip. It's Earth Day April 22, and Whole Foods is celebrating all month. Bring a reusable shopping bag to take your groceries home and Whole Foods will take 15 percent off your order this month
**Shucks, apparently it's just 5 cents per bag
The National Space Symposium was this week in Colorado Springs and blogs are going crazy. Robert Bigelow of Bigelow Aerospace outlined his company's business plan to offer private clients space vehicles beginning around 2012. For $14.95 million, under the plan, a "sovereign client" could get four weeks on Bigelow's space vehicles (including transportation! and training!). That would be cheaper than costs for getting on the International Space Station. Rather than go after space tourism or a business dependent on the Defense Department or NASA, Bigelow hopes to serve other countries (perhaps those without space modules of their own) and international corporations that want to do experiments.
Russia right now is selling seats on Soyuz for individuals rich enough to pay the $25 million. NASA doesn't do anything like that, due to restrictions on who can be on a shuttle after the Challenger disaster.
NASA administrator Mike Griffin's take on selling seats to space: "I say more power to them. That is the definition of capitalism. We claim to practice it. I don't have a problem with other people practicing it."
And Griffin on whether the International Space Station will remain supported past 2016: "I doubt it'll become a pumpkin in 2016"
And a joke from Air Force Chief of Staff Michael Moseley on situational awareness, paraphrased due to bad memory: Two college rivals -- say Texas and Texas A&M -- were driving on a road in opposite directions and came along a narrow bridge at the same time, colliding in bad weather. The Aggie got out, looked at the damage to both cars and was thankful to be alive and unhurt. His rival got out, saw the damage and also was thankful to be alive and unhurt. He went to his trunk and found an unopened bottle of Jack Daniels. "Hey, this is a sign. We should toast and forget about old differences," the rival said. He handed the bottle to the Aggie, who said cheers and drank about half before handing the rest back to his rival. "Your turn," the Aggie said. "No," the rival said. "I think I'll wait til after State Patrol gets here."