Tougher to break through: the earthís atmosphere or fed bureaucracy?

Both NASA’s space shuttle and Virgin Galactic’s passenger service to suborbital space have been delayed.

Virgin Galactic initially announced plans to launch its commercial space liner by 2007, but [Will Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic] now pegs its debut for 2008 or 2009.

NASA’s problems are technical in nature, Virgin’s fall under a different category:

It is not the technical issues, or even the financing, that is causing concern. It is uncertainty about US licensing requirements. “At this point we are not able to even view Scaled Composites’ designs for the commercial space vehicle,” Mr Whitehorn testified before the House committee. “After US government technology-transfer issues are clarified, and addressed if deemed necessary, we hope to place a firm order for the spacecraft,” he said.

Whole story is here. (Thanks to Don for the tip.) See this related post.