Attack Ships On Fire Off the Shoulder of Orion

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe; attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.”

 … “All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain.”

Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi movie, “Blade Runner” was released in 1982, appreciated by an initially small but ever-growing audience.  In his memorable end-of-life soliloquy, Roy (Rutger Hauer) laments that his extraordinary  extraterrestrial experiences would be lost like tears in rain–a very human sentiment…especially for a replicant.

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A Taste For Adventure; Light on Common Sense

It all began with TOS, a commercial spaceship conceived in the Reagan era

Orbital Sciences Corporation was founded in 1982 by three young guys just out of business school with little experience, no money, a taste for adventure and an obvious lack of common sense.  They and the daredevils that joined them made a foolish, long-odds bet consistent with Bob Dylan’s lyric, “When you ain’t got nothin, you’ve got nothin to lose,”

Nevertheless, Orbital grew to become a pioneer of the commercial space age:  The company’s initial product, the Transfer Orbit Stage was the first space system funded by a Wall Street financial offering.  Pegasus was the world’s first commercially developed launch vehicle to reach orbit.  Orbital’s subsidiaries, ORBCOMM and ORBIMAGE, pioneered the use of small, low-earth-orbit satellites for data communications and remote sensing.  Orbital’s Antares launcher and Cygnus autonomous cargo vehicle deliver supplies to the Space Station on a routine basis.  Its Ground-Based Missile Defense boosters are locked and loaded to swat down anything North Korea launches this direction.

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