Lots and LOTS of people seem to be constantly comparing the current situation with space travel, with the early 20th century aviation.
In fact, the comparison is not appropriate at all.
The early pioneers who created aeroplanes from bits of sticks and cloth, putting unreliable petrol engines on, often killed themselves. But we remember the successful ones.
The basic problem I see, is space travel is NOT aviation.
The amount of foresight to be able to predict aviation is fairly minimal. DaVinci did it in the 15th century, and probably loads of people did before him (just he wrote it down in rather more detail than them). Everyone since the beginning of human history, has watched birds flying. Everyone since the invention of paper has made paper planes. Each step was essentially just a small one.
Space travel just ISN'T that simple. They don't call it "rocket science" for nothing. It's complicated, and no amount of constant comparisons with the early aviation industry will make it simpler. Birds do fly very gracefully, but they don't usually go into orbit.
For decades, the governments of the two most industrially productive countries in the world have been pouring massive amounts of cash into space travel - mostly to figure out how to destroy each other more effectively. They have achieved much - and I don't believe that any real progress would have been made without them.
Sure, commercial companies do launch satellites with varying degrees of government assistance, but their R&D has been paid for by the cold war budgets of NATO and the Soviet Union.
The only possibilty that anybody has these days to produce "cheap" spaceflight, is to use a great deal of computer power (to do modelling, saving cost of failed launches) - but even that is not easy, largely because the cost of hiring the engineers and scientists to operate the computers.
I don't want to knock Rutan and Scaled Composites - but seriously, putting a spacecraft into orbit is a lot different from flying a 30 minute sub-orbital flight. The energy involved is something like 20x higher. They won the X-Prize. And Branson (boss of "Virgin Galactic") won the right to take a few rich something-or-others up on the rip-off so-called "trip of a lifetime".