What he means is that even though it's a prototype he's still going to charge passengers to ride it.
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Saving scientists from having to say "non-dwarf planets" every time they want to make it clear they're not talking about the hundreds of KBOs and are rather talking about the type of things commonly called planets in existing literature of centuries, is pretty good motivation.
Unlike companies, government has shown the ability to disparage things they profit from. The public health arm of the government couldn't care less where the tax dollars come from.
Even if the gamma ray burst were aimed straight at us, the exploding star would have to be within 50 light years to hurt our ozone layer (source: google).
If Betelgeuse was going to supernova tomorrow, there'd still be nothing to be concerned about -- just something to be excited about.
First human-meat-covered crater on Mars! There'll still be volunteers.
Nearly everyone is above average at something though. And Turing and every other genius are below average at many things.
If either shoots, both die because fire will be returned. Also, neither can know whether the other's home planet is more militarily advanced and will seek revenge for an unprovoked attack. A species irrational enough to attack in that situation would be unlikely to have gotten off its home world in the first place.
Columbus based his whole plan on the bad science of claiming the Earth was half as large as smarter people correctly thought it was and that he could reach India much quicker than he really could. His project was only green-lighted because of ignorance.
The only way Coca-Cola is in the history books is if they sponsor legally changing the name of the first person on Mars to Coca Cola, and even that assumes that the body can be delivered to Mars before it dies -- unlikely at present.
The fact that people buy a new phone every year and only buy a desktop every 7 years does not imply that they use their desktop less than they used to or even less than their phone. While there has been a mild decline in desktop use, mobile use has been largely supplementary not a replacement.
Actually, American citizens used to make a habit of sending their private armies to invade Mexico and other countries. Example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W...
Although it may kill a lot more people, waging war in the knowledge that innocent people will die is rightfully treated very differently from actively targeting defenseless innocents as a primary war strategy. Morality is not the math of summing up body counts. Both are in my opinion immoral, but the active targeting is far more so.
Those billions of dollars of American property having been stolen blatantly from Cuba in the first place with the help of a corrupt crony dictatorship. Even JFK admitted that the American ownership of Cuba in the 50s was wholly unjust.
Considering Venus the only other planet sized similarly to Earth in this solar system, and that we don't know of any exomoons yet, it seems premature to declare it that unusual.