29.6.03

THINKING 100 YEARS HENCE. General Electric has been running a commercial during some of the Sunday shows in which the Wright Flyer sports the latest turbofan mounted on the top wing. It's part cartoon, part tribute. But it raises a question: what will businesses be able to do to exploit the centenary of space exploration? Aviation has been open to commercial exploitation from the beginning. The value of airplanes for war and other State projects came later. Space exploration, on the other hand, has been a government preserve. Does that status hamper innovation?

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