Burt Rutan: Entrepreneurs are the future of space flight

http://www.ted.com In this passionate talk, legendary spacecraft designer Burt Rutan lambasts the US government-funded space program for stagnating and asks entrepreneurs to pick up where NASA has left off.

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  • Ryan007

    I think manned space flight has simmered down mostly because we now have robots to do that job without the risk of losing astronauts. A noble cause none the less, space exploration is of the highest importance!

  • Rossome4040

    You are right that I would be out of my damn mind... But that is why people have to wake up to the NWO propaganda mouth piece that is the corporate whore media. People have to wake up and take action of the de-industrialization that is being lead by private banks... But the US has lost a lot of their freedom. And more freedom is under attack.

  • ItsRainmakingTime

    It's Rainmaking Time! How do I get in touch with Burt? Kim Greenhouse

  • Mckenna Cisler

    I wonder if a suborbital airliner can actually go as fast or faster than the Concorde for a reasonable price... (if you can get no air resistance for half the flight to offset the cost of getting up to 100km) If we could though, I think we could help boost both the airline innovation cycle he talked about and the popularization of space flight. Also, speaking of commercial space ventures, I wonder what kind of incentives we'd see for big mineral companies if asteroid mining became feasible? I think it would be a while before conservationists started complaining about depleting the asteroid belt...

  • ford2n2003

    I've watched this 10 times and it just gets better!! Burt Rutan the greatest Aviation Innovator of our generation!! Love the Boomerang!! Got to get to Oshkosh and meet him.

  • Rossome4040

    Do you have a Job? Or has it been sent to china? Have you travelled recently and had to go through a radiatioon un tested naked body scanner or opt out and have some pervert stick their hands down your pants? Troll! I made this comment three months ago!

  • jagonation

    @oisiaa you forgot a huge one: HOWARD HUGHES

  • Trevor Seines

    Burt has a limited scope of knowledge rooted in aerospace engineering but is constrained by Darwinian fear of survivability.

  • eimb1999

    Wish I could have seen this without the obvious edits.

  • George Kalostypis

    240p by the official TED account? Oh 2007...

  • Goldiney

    @dude58677 He makes NASA look like a bunch of idiots? While this man's feathering design may have helped reentry, NASA has delved deeper into the cosmos than any other agency or person ever has. NASA has peered 13 billion years into the past, when the universe was in its infancy. Show some respect for the organization that has gotten us where we are today, dude.

  • Violet Hey

    I can understand what Rutan says, but I still find terribly sad that our progress in space engineering depends on money. Science and development should depend on real resources and not in economic investments and profit. 

  • Katz Kitson

    America needs Burt Rutan to run NASA.

  • Tashtego Dutton

    Burt Rutan is awesome. I am inspired to pursue a career in aerospace!

  • jdt2003

    Actually government would contract out to Lockheed and Boeing still leaving the bill on the taxpayers. That is until it becomes profitable.

  • Zenderquai

    Awesome talk, but I'd love to know what he said about Bush at 1:50 ish that got such a good laugh...

  • Antimatter ThreeThou

    If you don't want to deal with the TSA. Don't fucking ride planes you idiot.

  • Daniel Cates

    Dat way-too-loud intro.

  • Veknash S. Pillai

    AMAZING GUY!! they should air this or something

  • I

    elvis is right. i think we'll witness a lot of progress in space travel the next years. just as we did with computers in the nineties. it has yet begun.

  • oisiaa

    I am absolutely convinced that Burt Rutan in the top 5 most important aerospace personalities in all of history. The only people who I can think hold a higher position are Wilbur and Orville Wright, Werner Von Braun, and Kelly Johnson.

  • Rossome4040

    Glo0balization is killing inginuity and invention by creating monopoly's that can steal inventions and inovations and scrap them so that no one can have them and the global elite can continue degrading and genocidally socially engineering society... That is why Russia is more like the USA used to be and the USA and west is more like the east was 20 years ago.

  • letsgetverydrunk

    words to remember. Not too far from now we will look at this and say: "He predicted all of this would happen."

  • Seirunir

    I just love to think about, that when I have children, what I can tell them about technologies we (not) had when I was in their age: Cassettes, VHS, Computers with less power than the average smartphone today, No MP3, No Internet, No Flatscreens, different currency (at least in europe) and so on xD It's just amazing how the world changed since I was born, and I'm only 22 :D


    what can i say about burt rutan.......... he is aviation legend.... he is a peace of history next to wright brothers, lindberg we need new ideas and we need people like burt rutan................

  • MrWasuji

    While I agree with some things, I have to disagree with his comparison with the internet. The reason the internet and the PC took off(pun?) is because it allows a wide variety of input from just about anyone. It has not, nor can I imagine it being, been the case that a homebrew spaceship is developed. If your neighbor built a rocket, would you try it out? Also, we need a reason to go out there. Exploration has not been enough so far.

  • PaperLemon

    I hope he was joking when he said Al Gore invented the internet. I swear I heard some members of the audience laughing.

  • Antimatter ThreeThou

    I agree with what you said at first. But you are out of your damn mind if you think Russia is better than the USA. Mexico is a better place to live than Russia, that should tell you a lot.

  • polyrhythmic1

    AMEN! This guy speaks the truth!

  • Abdullah Farooq

    my dear mate, if u listen to it again, astroz said that twice, Houston We have a probelm here; 13, say again please, Houston we've had a problem!!!!!!!! GO RUTAN, GO CALPOLY

  • Rossome4040

    All you can do it just try to have a plan. And don't use them and opt out of thier system as much as possible... It is easy to see who the real terrorists are. But many people still need to wake up.

  • Rc Konstruktor

    Impressive , I am very impressed of his presentation , the content, at least he caught me..


    This guy truly is a genius!! A maverick in flight design, imagination!! Just a great man!! The last of the true thinkers. He doesn't follow stupid new technology.

  • Michael P

    People always focus on the technical benefit of NASA, ignoring its drain on industry. Now that NASA is gone, we are finally seeing companies like Virgin Galactic come into existence. Without NASA, however, these companies would have been on the scene sooner

  • Thé

    Don't worry Monsieur Rutan you will "beat them again" (!) as usa is pushing for a war against russia ... After ruining this country once Ussr finaly collapse, instead of helping this population , usa pushed the NATO right onto its borders with missiles and prOvocations of all types ... What the russians have done to the maricans apart from being poor and european ?

  • purger37

    My son is 4 now, when he turns 6 I'll show him this video, along with other similar ones. I hope it will inspire him to try and reach the stars.

  • AmericanFlagsExpress

    Inspiring kids begins with inspiring imitation. Building a flying model is the first step. Joining the EAA Young Eagles program is a terrific second step. This type of motivation is not coming from our schools. It requires personal mentoring at a very early age. Today's a good day to start.

  • Joey Coulter

    Thats my uncles dad :D thats awsome right

  • Abdullah Farooq

    my dear mate, if u listen to it again, astroz said that twice, Houston We have a probelm here; 13, say again please, Houston we've had a problem!!!!!!!! GO RUTAN, GO CALPOLY

  • MrLoomis42

    Humans will never achieve interstellar colonization.

  • AERO1779

    I originally watched this on the TED website.

  • ninanotturna

    Outer space and flying is cool and all, but we have more pressing issues on which to spend our time and resources on planet earth. Sorry man, your passion must wait (at least if we are a rational and a reasonable species).

  • Veknash S. Pillai

    @ermarauder I've seen it :) thanks!!

  • MikDonsen

    Energy issues are part of the problem. Sending someone to space if still 100 percent efficient is expensive. We basically needs alot of fusion reactors to built. But the tech for that is super underfunded. No proof it will work. THe hippies are against nuclear, big business don't care because it won't become viable for atleat 30 plus years.

  • Rossome4040

    They are in buses too now. And I won`t fly to the US and spend my money. I will fly to Mexico or something. I don`t want Uncle Sam`s finger in my bum. Good thing in Canada we still have some freedom left.

  • Antimatter ThreeThou

    how the fuck did the usa Lose a lot of their freedom? 50 years ago people of different races couldn't even go to the same bathroom

  • Martin

    Russia has a lot of potential and no money... USA has no potential at all but lot of money. Well why not work together? US should hire Roscosmos and shutdown NASA

  • Thé

    Usa is a predator business ( history = genocide of the locals as a start, then once "at home" killing all the buffalos - instaed of farming them like in good old Europe, then importing some slaves to clear up the garden, then ... Let's invade the world ( for the sake of human rights indeed ) to take the fuel else where ...endless story, usa damage humanity while stocks last

  • manganl

    Burt Rutan understands the very simple concept that we cannot keep all our eggs in one basket. Humanity needs to be viably established off-planet before some earthbound psychopaths destroy life on Earth. May he live long and prosper and retire on the Moon.

  • Frankie Teo

    Who do you think are behind the push for Globalisation ?. The cabal planned this years ago and purposely stunned mainstream technology so they can achieve their agenda to best their 2012 beliefs. Now a few months towards the deadline, things have changed and the exposure of such control leaks out everyday. Being on earth, these people are subjected to the same conditions as everyone else and will so perish due to their own inherent fear complex. 23 dec 2012 is the start.

  • djunior874

    I think one major contributor to this problem is religion- Don't be startled, just think about it, it makes sense. As long as people believe they're going to Heaven, the longer they think there's no point progressing humanity.

  • Andy McKee

    Burt focuses on speed and speed alone when comparing aircraft. This is very narrow minded. A few simple calculations show that the EFFICIENCY of commercial air travel has more than Tripled in the time since the DC8. True the cruising speed is almost identical but a modern airliner can fly at least 40% further taking 3 times the passengers for a third of the cost Per passenger mile in fuel. Also to my knowledge the SR71 did not stop being used because it was corroded (as Burt says). It stopped being used because it was very expensive to operate and satellites took over the role. The SR71 is mostly made from Titanium which does not corrode! But I do agree with the general message of his talk. NASA was doomed to failure as soon as they landed on the moon. Game over - nothing more to aim for. When Werner Von Braun retired (after having designed the Space Shuttle concept) they lost their leader - their one man of vision and genius - and became a committee. I do have hope for the future though as Elon Musk and others take up the mantle. Ironic that a South African will make 'America' great again in space but I guess a German (Werner Von Braun) was the one that made it great before so there's nothing new there.

  • Mr. Geary

    I plan to start my own space program one day.

  • kenny Bareega

    Or perhaps further out into our solar system, lets think bigger. Moon has already been done only thing to do there is a base for space exploration and checking those Ice craters out. Private enterprise is the only chance for expanding technology here or into space, the government has quit for War and New World Order garbage.

  • KraussHelmut

    Does anyone know where I can find the slides? Thank you!

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Burt Rutan in Reaching for the Skies (1988) Ep 01 - The Pioneers
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Burt Rutan 6 of 8 BEDE aircraft
The first 20 hours -- how to learn anything | Josh Kaufman | TEDxCSU
Burt Rutan: Innovation and the Race for Space