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post #1 of 9 Old 05-04-2005, 8:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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Virgin refused permission to finance Rutan

"At this point we are not able to even view Scaled Composites' designs for the commercial space vehicle," Mr Whitehorn (Virgin Galactic President) 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.

Mr Rutan added that the regulations have already affected financing for the project, which originally was to come from Mr Branson's London-based Virgin Group.

"We have had to move away from the basic concept of this being a foreign-funded development," he said.

I believed that a UK company would not be treated so shabbily. As Burt Rutan quipped in a recent US Congressional hearing about commercial space flight:

"I thought Britain was a relatively friendly nation,"

So did I: politicians seem the same the world over.

Change is as good as a rest!
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-04-2005, 9:24 PM
 
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Re: Virgin refused permission to finance Rutan

you guys really do have some strange policies (so do we, of course.. but still) I find it amazing that "commercial" products - be it Windows XP or a space craft - are treated like some ulta high "Top Secret" military naitonal security program....

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post #3 of 9 Old 05-05-2005, 10:56 AM
 
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Re: Virgin refused permission to finance Rutan

Uhm, guys, you do understand the implications of space technology right? This isn't a 747 here, with no real military learnings you can't find elsewhere. This is a very sophisticated, cutting edge design with lots of stuff applicable to military technology.

Also, if you're a politician, you gotta find it embarassing a British Company funded your best space race guys and are going to have the first commercial space technology for it.

I'm not defending this decision per se, as I am a capitalist, but I do find it highly depressing no American co stepped up first. And, I understand where these guys are coming from. And so do you oldfogey.




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post #4 of 9 Old 05-05-2005, 11:21 AM
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Re: Virgin refused permission to finance Rutan

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Originally Posted by luvtolean
but I do find it highly depressing no American co stepped up first.
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-05-2005, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Virgin refused permission to finance Rutan

L2L, as you say, this wasn't a "whose politicians are worse?" question. It's just a shame a willing provider of capital from an ally can't be allowed to fund a stunning team of engineers and designers.

I suppose your airlines are too strapped for cash to put the risk capital in, but I'm surprised none of the Californian venture capitalists would step in.

I hope the project gets off the ground (and into orbit).

Change is as good as a rest!
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-05-2005, 12:17 PM
 
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Re: Virgin refused permission to finance Rutan

Supposedly Allen (of MS fame) put some of the initial funding in. But I don't really know the whole story.

I'm not meaning to turn it into "who is worse" either, just pointing out that sometimes we get proud of our countrymen, and want to see certain "institutions", like Rover, or in this case Scaled Composites, stay "British" or "American".

Politicians wouldn't sell this story in a democracy like we both have, unless they thought people wanted to hear it.




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post #7 of 9 Old 05-05-2005, 4:35 PM
 
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Re: Virgin refused permission to finance Rutan

LTL is correct - Paul Allen was the bankroll for Scaled when they won the X-prize. Virgin swooped in at the last minute with deep pockets in order to stake their claim on the space tourism market. True entreprenuership (sp?).

Allen dumped about $20 million into the project from day one. Not sure what Virgin's contribution was in the later days.

From a patriotic standpoint, I'd love to see an American company invest heavily in Scaled to make space tourism available to Joe Consumer, however, the american air travel business model isn't exactly stellar. The military / security implications could be interesting.

BTW, I think NASA could learn a few things from Rutan.

Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

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post #8 of 9 Old 05-05-2005, 4:56 PM
 
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Re: Virgin refused permission to finance Rutan

Quote:
Originally Posted by BizJetGuy
BTW, I think NASA could learn a few things from Rutan.
True that...but probably not as much as he learned from them...

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post #9 of 9 Old 05-05-2005, 5:21 PM
 
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Re: Virgin refused permission to finance Rutan

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Originally Posted by Baketech
True that...but probably not as much as he learned from them...


No WAY he could afford to do the experiments himself.




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