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THURSDAY

I don’t like flying. But I sure love spaceships. By that I mean rockets with bulging bulkheads, stiletto-sharp fins, observation decks, and fire and sparks trailing behind them. So how did NASA go wrong? Their “spaceships” are all, like, technical and stuff. The shuttle is just a bloated 747. Likewise, SpaceShipOne, the privately funded craft that somehow made it into space, isn’t remotely X-wing-fighter cool. Perhaps there’s a reason for this drab design. See, I missed all the theoretical gobbledygook in physics class because I was busy drawing scientifically impossible-but-totally-bitchin’ spaceships in my notebook. Today, those notebooks are as lost as the information the teachers were trying to blast into my head. Not so for Burt Rutan, the man behind SpaceShipOne, Voyager, and other influential aeronautic craft. He was obviously paying attention—his dream of getting everybody into orbit is getting closer. Ask him where the hell my jet pack’s at when he speaks at 8 p.m. at the National Air and Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, 7th Street and Independence Avenue SW. Free. Call (202) 633-2398 for tickets and more information. (Dave Nuttycombe)

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