Monday, January 09, 2006

No fly list to apply in extra-terrestrial space

Careful. He might be a terrorist.

The BBC reports that the US Federal Aviation Administration is afraid a space tourist will turn out to be a terrorist. Companies wanting to take customers to space for fun and profit are urged to screen them against the US no fly list.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is attempting to regulate the commercial space industry... It has recommended security checks similar to those for airline passengers. The FAA also suggests space tourism companies check the global "no-fly" list, from the US Homeland Security Department, to exclude potential terrorists.

Well, yes, best to be prepared for anything.

A libelous fable
Just suppose, one of Bush's billionaire buddies began to have doubts about the quality of his life. He'd had an okay life, stopping by his father's construction company once in awhile, using daddy's jets to party in New York, Washington, and, London. But after awhile, bimbos and booze get tired. His friend George urged him to get a grip on life; George prayed for him. Our billionaire meets a great preacher; with the preacher's help, he finds God. He's a changed man. George teaches him to ride a mountain bike.

Then he decides, since he's renewed his rotten life, he should do something really big. He'll be one of the first to take advantage of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space tours. He trains his body. He studies rocketry.

But wait, the FAA says the company can't take him to space, some trouble about a list. He appeals to friend George. The order comes back from the king (they put the monarchy in the Constitution in 2008) "Let my friend fly!" So Virgin Galactic proudly launches their passenger, for a mere payment of $200,000.

And our billionaire is thrilled by weightlessness; he's inspired; he's close to his God. He knifes the crewmen with the blade he always hides in his boot. He aims the rocket right at the White House. "I'll show my brothers I'm a big man. Wheee! God is great!" screamed Yousef Bin Laden as he launched his space vehicle at George's blasphemous residence.

Well, probably not. But the fable probably has about the probability of Virgin Galactic finding a customer who wants to use its rocket for a terror attack. People with that kind of money are seldom that idealistic, though they can certainly be bat-shit crazy.

Did anyone else notice that the FAA's regulations seem to assume that the U.S. owns space?

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