Sunday, 30 January 2011

Privatisation of Spaceflight is coming fast

A lot of space companies have begun making headlines over the last two years.

First and foremost would be SpaceX, the company that wants to make the new NASA lauch vehicle, and seems to be succesful so far. The Falcon 9 vehicle developed by SpaceX has completed a number of test launches and flights last year. In December it carried the also SpaceX made crew capsule Dragon into space, making it the first ever commercial spacecraft in orbit to also be returned safe.
The main challenge now will be to satisfy NASA's safety requirements, which are now more then ever in the minds of people, 25 years after the Challenger accident.




Another interesting company to emerge is Excalibur Almaz. The company plans on using spacecraft based on the Soviet Space Programmes's TKS spacecraft and the Almanaz space stations (better known as Solyut 2, 3 and 5). The TKS spacecraft is unique in that it can launch atop any of several rockets of various spacefaring countries meaning that Excalibur Almaz has several possibilities for launching their vehicles.
The company plans to first flights in 2012 and begin making profit as early as 2013.
Solyut 5 (Anyone know where this image is from? I would like to give credit)


















There are however also critics of commercial spaceflight saying that the industry has little experience, and that safety will be comprimised as a result. The problem with spaceflight is that it is inherently dangerous. Small errors can destroy whole spacecraft or kill crews. In 1979 a small valve opened in the returning capsule of the soviet spacecraft soyuz 11, and the 3 crew members suffocated.
With experience and testing however space flight should slowly become safer and then eventually more accessible. In the early years it will be massively expensive to even go on a "space holiday", but in years to come the price should come down slowly as technology advances and becomes more readily available.



What's your stance on privatising space exploration or "space companies"?
Would anyone else really like to live in a space station for a while? Or for a holiday? ;)

35 comments:

  1. A holiday to the moon, now that'd be awesome =]

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  2. It took me 23 to take a plane. I don't think I'd travel to space :]

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  3. I've always thought companies' space exploration was a fascinating idea, it's come farther than i thought...

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  4. I do not see why not. Would expand on the everyday lives of most people if it became affordable :P

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  5. I can't wait for private space travel. I'm sure when it becomes available, the rich and powerful dictators, drug cartels, and organized crime bosses will be among the early adopters. Seems like a great way to avoid pesky earth laws and jurisdictions.

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  6. Living in space for a month would be awesome. Any longer would just be tedious.

    Follow: My blog

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  7. I'd love to watch a launch in real life, i bet it's really cool.

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  8. Ive said this many times but will say it again, what really pisses me off is that 99% of the genral public care more about celebrity culture than the mysteries of the universe. Nice to know some people actually care about this stuff.



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  9. I really look forward to advances in space flight. It just has to become a matter of profits to make more companies and people as a whole interested in advancing that field.

    Plus I still have the childhood dream of going to space oneday ;)

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  10. Its likely you'll have to sign a waver that states "If your crew fucks up and i get dead as a result, my family wont sue your ass!","inherently dangerous?", no shit. I'll wait until Kirk is up there making things safe amongst the intergalactic ass kickers.

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  11. I just can't wait to see it happen. And also the accidents of course, the drama, lost in space, rescue missions, later movies about the events - that will repay me a little for not being able to afford this myself (unless I hit it big within the next years) ...

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  12. We're never gong to live long enough to properly explore space ;_;

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  13. Living in Antarctica is pretty similar to living is space. Only getting there is much easier. Pretty much all you have to do is apply for a job there and pass a psychological evaluation.

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  14. I will be walking on mars in no time :D

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  15. Really interesting stuff, anyone think we'll be in the stars by 2020?

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  16. privatization of this is a great idea and will probably lead to loads more exploration

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  17. That would be awesome... But I'm afraid I might be too anxious to relish the trip if I ever got to take one.

    http://www.text-upload.com/read.php?t=2201

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  18. I say give it 30 years if you are not in poverty you can go to space.

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  19. I will never be rich enough to go to space, but the idea is awesome!

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  20. I think privatisation is a nobrainer. Surely comeptition will drive the prices down and push NASA to be a bit more amibtious. Its plans have been lacklustre for the last few decades. Although I dont hold much hope for us going past Mars any time soon!

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  21. intresting stuff. I heard they are trying to revamp the old spaceplane that nasa was working on before the shuttle as an alternative as well.

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  22. praying this happens within my lifetime. My greatest dream is to leave earth but unfortunately i lack a billion dollars.

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  23. We live in interesting times. I like your blog, I'll be following.

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  24. Wow.. I guess we should've seen this coming..

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  25. i think we should focus on spending money to make the earth better instead of finding ways to temporarily escape.

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  26. I'm not that interested in space, having the world itself is not yet explored properly.
    Following and supporting.

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  27. Am I the only one that's really dissatisfied with this whole thing? The privatized space industry is booming as a direct result of Obama's fiscal plan, which shortened NASA's budget and made mandatory cuts to the exploration programs we already had in place. This sucks for a lot of reasons -- most notably that space travel will no longer be about research/exploration but will become apart of commercial exploitation. We're not gathering/gaining anything by shooting people up into space just for the hell of it. I think space should be kept sacred and out of the clutches of cooperations.

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