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The Astronaut Farmer - Private Space Flight Goes Hollywood

You have to know somebody who would start a space elevator blog is not-exactly pro-rocketry. Besides the tons of pollutants thrown with every launch and the space debris blanketing the earth from decades of throw-away booster stages, dead satellites etc., rockets just strike me as horribly inefficient and needlessly expensive. Not that the space elevator will be cheap to build but, once built, the cost of getting to space decreases with each lift.

All that aside for the moment, what caught my eye is not the fact that someone wrote the story but that it got financed. Hollywood thinks there's a market for space-related movies.

The Astronaut Farmer is about a NASA astronaut (played by Billy Bob Thornton) who is forced to retire to save his family farm. Unable to give up his dream of space travel, he builds his own rocket despite the government's threats to stop him. (View Trailer)

This seems like another All-American-boy-with-a-dream movie and space travel just happens to be far out enough to make the protagonist seem crazy but realistic enough to actually happen while being something the movie-going public can grasp. So the Hollywood money is mostly behind the moral carried in the tagline: If we don't have our dreams, we have nothing. Still, I'm glad to see private space travel is somewhere in our collective psyche.

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