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Cost of Space Missions declining with New Technologies
The cost of space missions and setting up space technology business has reduced considerably with new technologies, prompting more and more private-sector companies to enter the arena.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX recently announced a plan to fly two paying passengers on a week-long flight around the Moon and beyond. SpaceX has made significant advances in reusable rocket technology.
But Musk’s space company isn’t alone in the space business. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin and Richard Branson-owned Virgin Galactic are also in the race to use space for commercial business.
Virgin Galactic is building special planes to take people for a ride up into space 62,000 miles above the surface of Earth. Blue Origin, just like SpaceX, is also trying to build reusable rockets to cut the cost of space travel.
A company known as Zero G is working to provide space rides in a specially designed airplane to provide people with experience of weightlessness of being in space for just around $5,000.
Eric Stallmer, the president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF), said, “The prices are already beginning to drop and more opportunities will be available for all the rest of us to possibly have some piece of that adventure of being a space explorer.”
Amid growing presence of private companies in space, the role of U.S. space agency NASA is drastically changing. Some critics are even arguing that the government-run agency is too cautious and too slow that it has left far behind these private space companies.