The Start of a Truly Commercial Space Era?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by redshift, May 26, 2012.

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  1. Space X has docked with the ISS! Just a stepping point, there is still a long way to go. But, is this the start of a truly commercial and capitalistic space exploration era? One which is driven by VCs, IPOs and shareholder pressures?

    Should be interesting anyways - good luck to them. They will need it.

    [​IMG]

    Love him or hate him, Elon does stick to his guns (Tesla etc...). Also, shows how far things have moved on from the "super-serious" cold war era.

    Sounds like a 16yr old teenager too:
    Well, to be honest, I would've said something similar as well - maybe even a high five. :)


    ISS Welcomes SpaceX Dragon; First Private Spacecraft at Station | Autopia | Wired.com
    SpaceX - Updates


    p.s: Mods, please feel free to move this to a different section if required.
     
  2. Personally, I would have said awesome if it docked without the need to be grabbed by an arm. The Russians have been doing that for ages, so don't understand why a private venture couldn't dock without being grabbed. Costs I suppose.
     
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  3. Safety probably, one brain being in charge rather than two trying to cooperate.
     
  4. It'll probably be due to the flight test schedule. Docking itself is probably one too many 'firsts' for one flight.
     
  5. Aye, you might be right.

    If thats true, it will be interesting to see how it develops.....if it does.


    Personally, I am more excited by the spaceship one project. That chap has plans that will be much more commercially adventurous then sending a cargo ship up every now and again.
     
  6. I'd love to go into space and see the World from outside. There is a great picture of the Earth from the Moon, lovely. Doing the lottery tonight
     
  7. maguire

    maguire LE Book Reviewer

    really? I thought they were nothing more than joyrides of the same type Shepard and Grissom took back at the very start of the space age...I find space x far more interesting because it's getting into orbit. longer term that has more revelance IMHO than sub orbital tourist flights. though hats off to the Scaled Composites guys - they have done an amazing job.
     
  8. Well, the alleged reason NASA has contracted this delivery system is so that it can crack on with other projects. (that doesn't make sense to me as it still has to pay the money). Therefore, this company providing the delivery system will be restricted by NASA in what it can do. I also understand it will be developing a system that will allow the transportation of men to the ISS. Thus it will be dedicating its efforts to this project.
    Now the guy who built spaceship one and two is doing so to get people into space as well. He is not restricted by anyone (other then Virgin I suppose) in what he plans to do and can achieve. The mere fact that people such as Mike Melvill know that people will pay large amounts of money to get into space will speed up their plans to get permanent facilities in space that are easily accessible. These facilities will then be used by companies who find NASA's, ESA's and Russia's prices quite pricey. In short, they will make space travel affordable.
     
  9. Nasa are meant to be pushing the limits not just doing milk runs
     
  10. I have to agree with BH it may be a bit more expensive to outsource the 'simple' stuff they have to do such as getting to the ISS while they concentrate on getting back beyond earth on the their Orion ship which seems to be coming along at a faster pace than i thought more here on what their up to everything from droping stuff from high altitudes to the best way to keep it clean -

    NASA - Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle

    perhaps this will be my generations Apollo, altough i am suprised that no one tried to just copy Soyuz for this NASA competition as they've been plodding along for a long time.

    but i can't think of comercial space travel without going straight to -

    Weyland-Yutani-shirt-lg.gif
     
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  11. Funny. When I think of the words "commercial" and "space" I tend first to think of Morton-Thiokol...
     
  12. Private companies have been launching satellites for quite a few years (decades?) now.
     
  13. This is true, but I've always found it hard to trust them. Must be having become accustomed to Chinese goods I guess; my mind always expects everything private-made to be finished by a one-handed five-year-old.
     
  14. Where do you think Governments get space vehicles, aircraft, vehicles, ships, missiles, etc from?
     
  15. 'til fairly recently we got a lot of ours from a combination of state enterprises like RSAF Enfield and the like, plus private firms building ships. Like I said, it's an odd habit. I tend to assume everything'll be built down to a price, rather like consumer goods are. Hence thinking of Morton-Thiokol - the most famed example of cheap and nasty built quality costing lives.

    Good luck to them nonetheless. I don't expect it to become "affordable" enough for anyone short of a multi-millionaire to afford it within the next 50 years, really, but it's a start.