The Pros And Cons Of Privatizing Space Exploration

The explosion roared and echoed throughout the launch site in Wallops Island, Virginia. So far, NASA has disbursed about $2.5 billion of the $6 billion seed money. In the name of creating a competitive market, NASA has pumped an additional $7 billion into contracts with two companies — SpaceX and Boeing — to build spaceships to take American astronauts to the International Space Station by 2017. NASA hopes to become one of several customers that buy trips to space from these companies. That will support the commercial industry and reduce dependency on Russia, which the U.S. pays approximately $70 million per seat to take American astronauts to the space station. The U.S. commercial space industry got a big boost on April 15, 2010, when President Barack Obama promised NASA $6 billion over the next five years to seed private space companies.

But because that flight was not part of a mission to the International Space Station and was not tied to any government contract, the implications were different. If an astronaut from NASA were killed in a launch orchestrated by a private company, there may be far-reaching effects both for NASA and for the company in question. Access to low-Earth orbit, and eventually human exploration of space, is a portal to achieve many impactful outcomes. The numbers and completion rate of microgravity experiments conducted by scientists will be greatly increased as a range of offerings in suborbital flights provide more opportunities to advance critical research in health, agriculture, energy, and more.

  • Quantum telecommunication enables instantaneous communication over infinite distances.
  • Explore how new strategies, technologies, innovations, practices, and investments may impact exploration, reliability, sustainability, mission planning and training, autonomous operations, and more.
  • The last category is the smallest by total market value, but, thanks to the past decade of private investment, the imagery and data analysis category may be the fastest to grow in the coming years.
  • Since 2015, ESA’s permanently openCall for partnershipsinvites industry to participate in the Agency’s European Exploration Envelope Programme .
  • Known as the Von Braun Paradigm, the plan was formulated to lead humans in the exploration of space.

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Is Spacex A Publicly Traded Company?

All of these programs or other similar programs, if properly managed, can produce benefits in excess to the original invested dollar. There is no guarantee that a program will be properly managed and this includes a space program. Properly managed implies many things, but I don’t think space is any more or less likely to be well managed than anything else the government does. Not all of our space programs made the short list, as I looked at several public space programs for this study before deciding that our Moon program was the best.

By researching across sectors, industries and markets, ARK’s investment team seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the convergence and market potential of disruptive innovations, and thus size investment opportunities more appropriately. As space exploration startups push further into the solar system, current telecommunication solutions fall short of the necessary communication speeds and data transfer rates. Quantum telecommunication enables instantaneous communication over infinite distances. This form of communication has no latency, does not require line of sight, and is highly secure. The seamless communication it offers is imperative for advanced space exploration solutions, like asteroid mining. To set up a base on another planet, settlers will need resources to build structures, as well as to sustain themselves.

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Through addressing the challenges related to human space exploration we expand technology, create new industries, and help to foster a peaceful connection with other nations. Curiosity and exploration are vital to the human spirit and accepting the challenge of going deeper into space will invite the citizens of the world today and the generations of tomorrow to join NASA on this exciting journey. For her work as Operations Lead overseeing the largest biological experiments aboard the ISS, Ann was awarded the Silver Snoopy – NASA’s highest award in support of human spaceflight, selected by the NASA Astronaut Corps. These missions collected data for understanding muscular and ocular degeneration on Earth.


This would bring obvious benefits – it would open up space as a laboratory to anyone who could pay, and would theoretically bring down the costs of manufacturing in space. And as the International Space Station approaches the end of its lifespan, it seems inevitable a private company will either take over operation of the most expensive public project ever or will launch their own versions. In 2009, when SpaceX celebrated its first successful launch, the company did something very simple that hadn’t been done before – it published its prices.

Packages today delivered by airplane or truck could be delivered more quickly by rocket. Mining equipment could be sent to asteroids to extract minerals—all possible, theoretically, with the recent breakthroughs in rocketry. Near term, space as an investment theme is also likely to impact a number of industries beyond Aerospace & Defense, such as IT Hardware and Telecom sectors. Morgan Stanley estimates that the global space industry could generate revenue of more than $1 trillion or more in 2040, up from $350 billion, currently.

The segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the review period. Due to the advancement of satellite communication-related technologies among the nations. NASA’s budget totaled less than 1 percent of the GNP during peak activity years in the last half of the 1960s. Why then have economists devoted considerable attention to a governmental program that represents a negligible proportion of national economic activity? Professional interest in space program economics is attributable to a growing awareness of the economic significance of technological change.