Bristol Spaceplanes MD wins ORBIT award

27 April 2002


David Ashford, Managing Director of Bristol Spaceplanes Ltd., was the recipient of an ORBIT award at the inaugural Space Tourism Pioneer Awards Show, presented by the Space Tourism Society on April 27th in Santa Monica. Although not able to receive the award in person, Mr. Ashford sent the following speech which was read out on his behalf by Tony Materna, BSP’s U.S. agent:

“I am very sorry not to be here this evening, and would like to thank Tony [Materna] for accepting the award on my behalf. It is a great honour. I think that when the history of space tourism gets written in ten or twenty years, the historians will be amazed that it took so long. They will be staggered by the resistance of the large government space agencies to grasping the lifeline back to public adoration. They will be staggered by the power of mind-set. Someone will re-write ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ in a space setting.

“The one thing guaranteed to get real action in the US on space tourism would be if the Brits started to make it happen. I am doing my best!

“If I may make a commercial plug, watch out this fall for my new book ‘Spaceflight Revolution’, to be published by Imperial College Press. It pulls no punches.

“Historians of the future will commend the small band of brothers and sisters that started the space tourism movement and persisted with it until it happened. I am proud to be a member, and to be sharing with you one of the great pioneering efforts of recent times.

“Thank you again for the great honour.”

More information about the Space Tourism Pioneer Awards can be found on the STS website.