By the way, I'd be happy to accept liability for any damages such as the ones you describe, if I were selling you a home automation setup.
SpaceShip One touched space and all elements were recovered and flew to space again.
BO's demonstration is more publicity than practical rocketry. It doesn't look like the aerodynamic elements of BO's current rocket are suitable for recovery after orbital injection, just after a straight up-down space tourism flight with no potential for orbit, just like SpaceShip One (and Two). They can't put an object in space and have it stay in orbit. They can just take dudes up for a short and expensive view and a little time in zero gee.
It's going to be real history when SpaceX recovers the first stage after an orbital injection, in that it will completely change the economics of getting to space and staying there.
Along the same lines, we should establish a permanent Moon base first. The Moon is much, much, much closer to Earth than Mars [...]
You know that were are building these capabilities to get the hell as far away from the rest of you dolts as we possibly can manage to get, right?
"Closer to Earth" is about as much as a feature as "random" is a feature on an iPod Shuffle, which has a perfectly good audio feedback mechanism that could have been used in place of a screen for feedback, without compromising the ability to actually select what you wanted to have played.
Which is to say: not a feature.
What if orbital mechanics suddenly stopped working, and the reactor crashed into the Earth, because, you know, orbit and things?
No, they explain this in the article. This might account for maybe 1% difference due to the actual distance between the Moon and Earth, but that is about it.
Ironic, I was watching "The Universe" on Netflix earlier, the exact episode that covered most of this. Good stuff.
You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements. -- Norman Douglas