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tv   Ali Velshi on Target  Al Jazeera  March 31, 2016 9:00pm-9:31pm EDT

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i have to be out at the end of march, but i have to learn to sort of deal with it. i've been coming here, you know, for 28 years. that's a long time. >> that's our news for this hour. thank you for watching. ali velshi, next on targets. "on target" tonight. i'm at the mow jahi air and space museum. replacement to the ship, the vss, version spaceship unity is all new and it's addressed a lot of the safety issues that were concerns when that last spaceship went down. i'll show you that and more over the next half hour. the business of space. a new age is dawning for space exploration.
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a new commercial space age. >> we're democratizing space. not just you and me and some massive model of a government program. >> and with that comes a new space economy. private american companies racing to advance the technology that will challenge our concept of space and redefine how it relates to us. they call it a new fron front front new frontier. >> a wild west, a gold rush of sorts to mine asteroids and the moon for precious metals. >> we believe a hunk of the ploon you can hold in your hands be worth $1 billion. >> and eventually.
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colonize mars. >> there will be losses of money. >> it's a high stakes investment with no guarantees. and just whit seems all is lost: >> tell us how you felt when you heard yesterday. >> shattered. >> innovation and persistence reigns. >> we have tears of joy not tears of sadness. >> tonight i'm taking you into the commercial space industry. since 2003, commercial spaceflight alone has received $2.5 billion in private investment. virtue
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venture capital is, one day the world. one tie keen, sir richard branson, his virgin atlanta spaceship 2 be crashed in the mo mojave desert, one day into suborbital space, he recently revealed the newest new hampshire carnation of spaceship 2. i was right there to see it. >> welcome spaceship unity. >> it was a giddy celebratory day. his one-year-old grand granddaughteree virginia day christened spaceship 2 with her bottle. the richard branson we saw here today is far different from
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2014, where virgin atlantic spaceship 2 crashed in the mow jahi. mow m mojave. >> once we found the basic design was sound and we wanted to make sure the co-pilot couldn't do that kind of an action again, we were committed to building this spaceship here and the team has been working their tails off to get to this point. we're not done we have a long way to go but this is an important milestone for team. >> many who attended then virgin galactic spaceship 2 unveiling are new astronauts. not everyone with a ticket is super-rich. >> i'm a scientist, actually i
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mortgaged my house to pay or the my flight. >> wow. >> i'm not rich and famous, just a chemist. >> they say they'll wait as long as it takes until spaceship 2 is ready to take them into space, which could be a long time. or not. branson won't say. >> i think i'll know when i'm be going to space but i know if we slip by a month i'll get you ringing me up and telling me that i've blown it again. so we're not going to give specific dates. we'll go having waited ten years i worked hard for ten years, we'll go when it's absolutely safe and ready. >> we know a lot about this ship, we know it's safer than the last ship. we know there are things that went wrong before that can't be going wrong now. the folks at the spaceship company and virgin galactic and the faa want to make sure that
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when this goes into space carrying passengers, it is the safest spaceship possible. that's all going to take months, possibly years before the first trip actually takes paying passengers. ♪ ♪ >> and we stop talking about zed lines and dates until we know we -- deadlines and dates until we know we can be as safe as we can be. >> if you don't have the safest vehicle out there it's going to be abad business model for you. no one's pushing hard dates because hard dates are hard to accomplish. >> spaceflight is dangerous. the death rate for humans who have gone into space is about 4%. 18 of the 430 who have gone into space have died. by comparison, 2 out of 100 million passengers have died on commercial air flights in the last decade. former apollo
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apoll lo astronaut rusty sweiker: >> we were involved in a risky business. when you are involved in this situation, you will have people dying. that's the price of this situation. >> a final opportunity to make commercial spaceflight a reality. >> all of us in this room need to pinch ourselves. come on, let's pirch ourselves. inch ourselves. >> and for sir richard branson the opportunity to celebrate. >> today we've got tears of joy not tears of sadness. obviously the last time we were all gathered here it was definitely tears of sadness. quite quickly.
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the ntsb said that there was nothing wrong with the spay ship and that virgin galactic had been given a clean bill of health and that means the 600 wonderful technological anythings and engineers could get this ship built. they worked day and night to create there spaceship. they've done a beautiful beautiful job. i'm very proud of them today. >> one of the things you mentioned when spaceship 2 went down this spaceship was in development and there's another spaceship in development right now, each one of those tweaks a little bit as you learn more and more. the airframe looks very similar to the last spaceship. like the space shuttle program each one will be like that? >> you've got to learn as you go along, yes, we are be developing the wheel as we go along. this spaceship we managed to
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take weight off, even more so the next one. i don't know what the next we'll learn but there will be things we'll learn. >> when i spoke to your mother she said you were really a handful as a little boy. most people grow out of those ideas about wanting to be an astronaut and wanting to do crazy things and she said you simply didn't. >> yeah i mean i found life more fun saying yes than saying no. i have a feeling we have the same rut. i've had an extraordinary life you know, i'll i've come near to killing myself on a couple of occasions. >> we would say you went out doing something you wanted to do, enjoying purpz. >> if you ar yourself. >> you should be pushing yourself. >> we're glad to see you this happy and the day launch the spacecraft. >> always good to talk to you. >> pleasure. >> the new commercial industry is not about space tourism it's
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about mining for precious metals. something companies say they want to do that on the moon. up next when the business of space continues. >> our american story is written everyday. it's not always pretty, but it's real... and we show you like no-one else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight.
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♪ ♪ >> welcome back to our special coverage of the business of space. i recently came back from mojave, california where virgin
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galactic unveiled its space shup spaceship unity, it's a passenger craft that can one day tray passengers into space. shoot for the stars literally with the ansari x prize. it was a competition that led to building some of the first commercial spaceship. diamondus, what he had to say about the challenges the industry still faces. >> as americans we live here, we foresight 500 years ago, thousands gave thei lost their lives, coming here. and we do this for something we care about and we're on the verge of the greatest exploration ever opening up the space frontier. it's happening here and now.
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the fact that the virgin system recommitted to building spaceship 2 is critically important to that. it's hard, we're opening up the space front tear. >> right. >> and we're opening up be frontier frontiers. >> this was the first prize. teleme about the genesis of commercializing space and how you go about it. >> i wanted to be an astronaut from my childhood. star trek, the apollo program opened up spaceflight and i as a kid wanted to do it. my chances for become a nasa astronaut were one in a thousand. dant we dcan't we do it commercially? i say maybe i can create a prize for private space ships.
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it was back in 1996, we announced a $10 million prize. spaceship 1 the pred says to spaceship 2 -- predecessor to spaceship 2 won that prize. it proved that be space ships could fly people into space safely and that's where we are today. >> where does this go? finally people on that very long list including yourself who are going to go into space, okay great now we've got a little bit of space tourism. where does this lead? >> everything we hold in value on earth, are nearly infinite quantities in space. construction materials, life forms we're going to find and it's about getting access to these resources to benefit people on earth but also the fact that we're becoming a
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multiplanetary species during our lifetime. my friend elon musk wants to get people to mars by 2025. >> possibly, no one can be argue with dates anymore. >> i have four and a half-year-old boitionand ahalf-a young family. it's an amazing life to live and we'll move humans off earth. it's stuff we dream of, it's happening. >> peter diamondes, the google lunar x prize is gearing up to make historical again. an israel company, space il says it secured a spot often the spacex falcon launcher. and moon express is also competing and signed a launch contract. the competition to land the first privately funded rover on
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the moon is on, and the commercial space industry stands to make billions if it succeeds. jakjacob our science and technology editor jacob ward has more on that. >> moon express and astrobiotics are competitors in a very small market. a market that doaj doesn't evenw it needs the moon. >> do you believe a hunk of the moon you could hold in your hands could be worth $1 billion? >> both companies are building unmanned space crafts that can take car go to the moon. >> they can mount above the deck and below the deck. things like rovers, experiments, science experiments even education programs. once we land ton surface of the on the surface of the moon.
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>> moon express's spacecraft is spaller about the size of a coffee table and holds about 80 pounds. >> the design of our vehicle our little spacecraft, here it is right here, it's, notice it's like a little flying saucer. it's a payload deck. the energy over spacecraft is like a little hot are rod in space. it can get all the way to the moons of mars. >> to build infrastructure on the moon commercial space stations, mines of precia precious metal, sending spacecraft even deeper into space. the moon is the stepping-stone to deen deeper space. mainly mars. it's in our backyard. >> nasa has announced boat companies will be part of its lunar catalyst program. contracting
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to stay cargo to the moon. and take cargo to the space station. >> nasa is moving on to take cargo to particulars. but we think it's more -- to mars. >> to do what nasa once did. >> the ultimate goal is to promote a competitive market but there's another layer to the competition here. the $40th million google x prize, driving 500 meters on the moon and send back hd images in real time. astrobiotics and lunar express are competing. as strow biotic is proposing splitting the $70 million prize with other companies to set up nascar for moon rovers. >> this is our entrant.
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>> astrobiotics, are selling advertising space. >> different companies to have their messages and branding and social experiences happening on the surface of the moon. >> it's competition for sport and for business. both companies will also be carrying paying customer pay loads to the moon. moon express will transport a telescope and astrobiotic will bring among other companies, a japanese sports drink. >> bakari sweat, to serve as a time capsule for kids of japan to put their dreams in. >> until now, this is what moon exploration looked like to americans. apollo missions, astronauts, a bit of golf. >> there you go. >> not sports drinks and nascar races but commercializing space means that. it's going
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to become commercial. >> jim mcdivvet and i. when you see a really creative innovative lander on the moon and you have a close up on it and there's budweiser or nascar or some other advertising symbol and there's a little bit of you know put some ambiguity into the game. >> but he says sponsors are money and private money is the key to developing space and all that comes with it. >> innovation is the secret to the future. that's what will enable my grand kids to look up on the moons and see lights and towns and settlements and cities, who knows. >> that was jake ward reporting. astrobiotics is hoping to seal the deal on its own launch contract this year after it signs on more companies to carry cargo to the moon.
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the company needs that money of paying the multimill million dollar project cost. the united states is well ahead of the rest of the world, but coming up we'll tell you wn thing chinonething china is doiy better than what america is doing. >> ...and on the streets. >> there's been another teenager shot and killed by the police. >> a fault lines special investigation. >> there's a general distrust of this prosecutor. >> this is a target you can't get rid of. >> the untold story of what's really going on in ferguson. >> they were so angry, because it could've been them. >> one hour special, only on al jazeera america.
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>> welcome back to our special coverage of the business of space. spaceship 2 at the mojave air and space port are astronauts to be. they paid on average $250,000 to one day get a ride into earth's low orbit. it is part of the democratization of space, the idea that you and i can become a astronaut without special schooling. you still have to have a lot of money. i asked virgin's ceo george whitesides when the price will come down. >> the reality is that they cost a lot up front. it's cost a lot to build this vehicle and develop this program. as any business you needs to
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amortize through your ticket prices. you have a very successful business underlying these economics so that's what we're going to do as we amortize the development costs. not to get too technical -- >> i'm a financial journalist. >> we'll be potentially able to lower the cost. that's not going to happen immediately. we actually have a big backlog. we'll see what happens but long term the vision is to bring prices down. >> the united states has the most developed private commercial space industry in the world and the biggest government funded space program out there but that is not deterring other countries from making bold leaps where other men have gone before. mary snow reports. >> reporter: the european space industry erupts into cheers and hugs. traveling four billion miles
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over the last decade its aim to collect information about the earliest days of the solar system. >> here we are with a tweet. >> it was a social media bonanza with millions around the world watching on live-streaming video as the head of the european space agency made it clear: score one for europe. >> this is the best expertise of the world because we are the first to have done that and that will stay forever. thank you very much. >> reporter: not so far of a from the global interest that was sparked in 1957 with sputnik. >> all over the world people are turning into the bleep bleep of the satellite with carries board the highly be sophisticated mechanism. >> the russian satellite launched into orbit and into the space race. >> the race for space is becoming an all absorbing factor. >> there's a big difference. the race to space in the '60s
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because fraught with political tensions and the might and technical prowess of superpowers, now what people in the space industry call coopitition. >> coming together on a collaborative project. the most complex feat we have ever attained requiring the efforts of multiple nations. >> as a result of tensions or ukraine, the u.s. announced it was suspending all rocket programs with russia except for space station. nasa still relies on trow russia to send be astronauts to the space station. paying them about $70,000 per astronaut.
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and china has set its sights on landing on the moon and collecting lunar samples, perhaps with the idea that companies want to mine there. $42 billion in 2013, europe and russia come in a loose second with $5 billion in their space coffers, and japan at $2.5 billion. india, $1 billion, but it hasn't deterred the country from making huge leaps. >> miss step. >> india launched a mars orbiter in 2013 on its first try and shoestring budgets of $75 million compared to nasa's $6 fudge million for a similar mission. >> the success of our sprays program be is a signing symbol of what we are capable of as a nation.
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>> mary snow, al jazeera. >> that is our show for today. i'm ali velshi. thank you for joining us. the news continues here on al jazeera america. >> thanks for joining us. as the dialogue changes for the lgbt community in america, the nation's largest christian denomination, american catholics are reconsidering


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