Alcohol fuel for the New Mexico Spaceport

Your opinions (printed March 18, Las Cruces Sun-News)

                                     NEW SPACEPORT BAR LIKE OLD BOOZE SHIPS

A burst of creativity from the crew piloting New Mexico’s ill-starred spaceport resulted in a need to obtain a liquor license, authorization for which was signed into law by Gov. Susana Martinez. (Senate Bill 147) This “need” has a basis in history. In the 1920s, during Prohibition, grand ocean liners such as the Ile-de-France, Windsor Castle and Bremen kept their on-board bars open while docked at New York piers, as the liners stocked and fueled for the return voyage across the Atlantic to Europe.

Through a quirk in the law, well-heeled visitors to shipboard bars were not technically on the soil of the United States, and thus were free to imbibe in unlimited quantities the premium booze (far superior to the mob-produced bootleg gin available on land) before staggering down the gangway to a waiting limo or cab.

So impaired these bar patrons were, that many could have been convinced they had traveled across the ocean and returned during their boozy episode.

In the same way, fogged-up patrons of the spaceport’s bar could be led to believe, with a little creative stage-craft, that they had launched into space and returned as their glasses were speedily refilled one after another. All such patrons, when suitably pickled, (no doubt enhancing the bottom line of the spaceport in the process) would be loaded into a stretch limo for the trek home to make sure none got near the wheel of a car until thoroughly sobered up.

The genius of this plan is that no longer do we have to bother with the empty promises of Sir Richard or his fellow space-venture hype artists or the technical issues of an actual orbital passenger rocket ship to provide a revenue stream for the spaceport.

— Dan Townsend, Las Cruces

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Categories: History, Science and Biography | Leave a comment

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