05/23/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

If Terrestrial Airlines Can't Survive, How Will Galactic Airlines?

Today, Virgin Galactic's first commercial spaceship successfully completed her maiden voyage. However, even at $200,000 per ticket, how are we supposed to believe this nascent industry will become sustainable?

The closest comparison is the now deceased Concorde jet. Air France and British Airways were subsidized by their governments to buy the aircraft, and it still failed. Unlike Richard Branson's new space shuttle, at least the Concorde had a market of transatlantic businesspersons who demanded quicker flights. Space sightseeing is merely a novelty.

Furthermore, we all know the perpetual business problems with regular passenger airlines. If we don't have these kinks worked out, why take the next step?

Unfortunately, I think the pursuit of commercial space travel is some silly egotistical obsession of a few bored billionaires and their newfound physicist friends. Even worse, as soon as one crashes, the fun and games will be over.

Do you think space flights will thrive or crash and burn? Let us know in the comments below ...