When we tousle a child’s hair and ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” we’re likely to hear many of the typical “doctor, lawyer” responses. However, some might also want to be, say, an astronaut. Fifty years ago no child would offer such a response because astronauts didn’t exist. Twenty-five years ago, adults might chuckle at a youngster with such a goalÃ¢â?¬â??after all, only the tiniest slice of the population ever traveled into space. But as more companies move toward manned space travel, it is not far-fetched for today’s children to hope to be astronauts: The dream of commercial space flight has taken an important step towards reality with the granting of the first licence to a private company to launch people to a height of 100 kilometres. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded the license to Scaled Composites, a California-based company run by aviation pioneer Burt Rutan, for a one-year period.
Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.