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Rich Air-heads space out! Globle warming put on hold!
Written by Daniel   
Sunday, 24 September 2006 12:31
Restaurant at end of universe not so far off
By Stefanie Olsen
Staff Writer, CNET
Published: September 20, 2006, 4:00 AM PDT
SAN JOSE, Calif.--Forget pigs, we're headed into the age of Starbucks in space.

According to entrepreneurs and government officials at the Space 2006 conference here, tourists rocketing into suborbit in the coming years will need to get caffeinated somehow.

To wit: The theme at the three-day space-exploration conference is commercializing space exploration, and many executives and government officials here are hashing out the viability of such a proposition. The list of speakers reflects as much. Everyone from search giant Google to space-tourism outfits Virgin Galactic and SpaceX is here.

And if NASA's recent bout of private-industry initiatives is any indication, the dawn of a new space economy is under way.

"For us to realize the sustainability of space exploration, we've got to explore how we can leverage the private sector. That is the byword at NASA," said Pete Worden, director of NASA Ames Research Center, while delivering an opening address Tuesday at the annual conference.

That the conference is being held in Silicon Valley for the first time is no coincidence. NASA has lined up many partnerships with entrepreneurs and technology companies in the area, including Mountain View, Calif.-based Google. According to Worden, the technology and venture capital prowess here in Silicon Valley will be essential to the coming space age.... More...would be less...":O}

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