The ISS is open for business, but no one can afford to go

NASA has laid out its plans for making the ISS available to governmental and commercial research, once the station is completed (hopefully) in 2010. The trouble is, no one is in a great rush to sign up – the incredible cost of getting equipment and researchers to orbit and back is acting as a serious deterrent. It’s a given that we could do with finding a way to make the weight-to-orbit cost of space missions come down – which is why it is to be hoped that Liftport manage to stay in business and start work on their dream of the space elevator. If you think that’s too science fictional to work, then the Mach-Lorentz Thruster will really flip you out – it could theoretically fly four round-trips to the Moon in a day, provided the theory it’s based on isn’t completely wrong. Maybe we’d be better off sticking to Armadillo Aerospace’s modular launch vehicles.