It’s unfortunate that a pilot died, but it’s good that a Virgin Galactic rocket launch failed and crashed.
Virgin Galactic’s whole purpose is to start a new industry: space tourism. Many people have paid $200K and up to get a seat on a short space flight.
First of all, such luxury indulgences are obscene in a world where so many lack the most basic necessities.
But even more glaringly, we are faced by the urgency of climate change. It is criminal to invent a new industry that requires truly obscene amounts of energy based on fossil fuels at a time when we need to rapidly and drastically scale down the use of such fuels.
The Virgin Galactic program should be shut down; if Richard Branson won’t do it, governments should outlaw it. If they won’t do it, people should pressure potential customers to boycott it, and should engage in direct action to shut it down. All of the capital put into Virgin Galactic should be put into ramping up wind and solar energy and energy efficiency programs.