A new age is dawning in U.S. space exploration: Entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos, are working to open up human spaceflight, once the domain only of governments, to the private sector and the public. Soon, anyone will be able to go to space just by purchasing a ticket on a suborbital space flight, and several companies are working on orbital space missions as well. Scientists, teachers, artists, and even kids will travel to space by the thousands and experience the wonder of weightlessness and seeing the Earth from above.
“These companies are bringing the silicon valley spirit to the space industry” says John Gedmark, executive director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF), the industry association of leading businesses and organizations which are working to make commercial human spaceflight a reality. Gedmark added “America is unique in the world in having private companies develop this capability.”
Entrepreneurs are investing over 1.5 billion dollars of private investment in their new endeavors, These new companies are projected to create thousands of new high-tech jobs nationwide, and are already inspiring more young people to pursue science and engineering. NASA is also now welcoming these efforts, resulting in even greater benefits for the country. “NASA and private industry can work together to find innovative technological solutions to today’s spaceflight challenges” NASA now plans pay these companies to transport NASA astronauts into space, which will free up NASA to do other things such as explore the solar system and one day send astronauts to Mars. “Yesterday’s technologies are not sufficient to keep America in first place in the global race for economic competitiveness,” says John. “Technological innovation is what got America to the moon in the 1960s, and we need a renewed focus on technology to drive spaceflight forward in the 21st century.”
When do you think commercial spaceflight will be readily available and do you plan to go?
Read more about John here.