Showing posts from October 24, 2010

Don’t Worry Just Yet

Don’t Worry Just Yet The British science journal, Nature, posted an article entitled, “Space tourism to accelerate climate change,” On October 22, 2010, at the URL They cited some preliminary research suggesting that a thousand commercial space launches, particularly those such as Virgin Galactic that burn a rubber-like propellant, might put soot in the upper atmosphere and cause significant global warming. I have a little historical note. Roughly thirty-five years ago, there were environmental concerns about hundreds or even thousands of flights by the Space Shuttle fleet. Ammonium perchlorate in the solid rocket boosters put a sizable amount of chlorine ions into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere during each launch. However, the number of flights never went into even dozens per year. Considering that history, I suggest that it's premature to worry about the Rutan-Branson space plane. When, and if,