Apple's new "magical" product, the iPad, has certainly surprised some people. In the same breath it should be said that there are many who are not impressed. Namely, Nintendo's president likened it to nothing more than a larger iPod Touch.

One of the killer features of the iPad is its price. If I had seen a specification list for the iPad prior to launch, I probably would have anticipated the price to be at least $300 more than the price point selected by Apple. However, Apple's choice of price tells a lot about where they might see the iPad going, and what it is expected to compete with.

Back in 2006 I did a quick presentation on the future of American spaceflight. This was a relatively new topic for the time, since it had only been two years since President Bush had announced new space policy titled "Vision for Space Exploration," aimed at restoring public support (and financial resources) for future spaceflight. Only a year earlier, in 2003, Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over the skies of Texas during atmospheric reentry.