Rockets and Zany Guys at the Bruce County Museum

 

Want to Fly to the Moon?

On April 2nd the continuing series from the Perimeter Institute featured Michael Belfiore  science journalist talking about his book "The Rocketeers" and his relationship with a group of zany guys bringing science fiction to life.

The PI Science series took a comic turn with Belfiore a naturally curious and fun guy interacting with what appears to be the most outlandish group of men reaching for the stars.  They include two groups from Canada and a number from the United States.  All of them are bright, rich and very, very eccentric.

Each of the groups is building and has built in reality every boy and girl's dream ... a space ship.  They share a single vision and they have another common trait.  They know how to make money to support their hobby.  From high technology to real estate, they have accumulated vast fortunes that allow them to rid themselves of the gravity of earth.

How would you like to enter a contest in which you had to build a space ship, fly it to the boundary of earth and space, return alive and do it again in two weeks?  That was done by Burt  Rutan.

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Burt Rutan designed the first privately financed spacecraft to carry an ordinary citizen into space. On a June morning in 2004, Rutan's innovative SpaceShipOne rose from the Mojave Desert in California, flown by test pilot Mike Melvill (c. 1942), climbed through the clouds, and entered space. It was an important date in the history of aviation, and Rutan hoped it would be the start of a new era of adventure trave -- that of space tourism.

His dream is coming true and is in the great legacy of Jules Vern where space can be explored not by governments, but by adventurers.  It's Buck Rogers in the 21st Century, without government oversight.

The popular PI series will continue  on April 16 with Physics Information with Bob MacDonald of Quirks & Quarks along with 4 panel members who discuss the state of physics.  One of the panel is Nobel Winner Sir Anthony Leggett.

See PI series at the Museum for further details