Sunday, March 3, 2013

With latest docking to ISS, privatizing spaceflight approaches maturity

Overcoming a thruster nozzle problem in-flight would be difficult even for NASA in its glory days, and the fact that SpaceX did so this week and still managed to deliver supplies to the International Space Station is a major--if much belated--giant step forward for privatized spaceflight.

Put that together with Dennis Tito's civilian Mars mission now in the planning, and you have a case that  government is not only not strictly necessary for manned space exploration, but may be one of the reasons we haven't gotten any farther than we have, even though we've had the technology to return to the Moon, plant space stations at the Lagrange points, or go to Mars ... literally for nearly two decades now.

1 comment:

tom said...

In the 1st edition of The High Frontier (1977), Gerald K O'Niell argued pretty persuasively that we had the necessary technology in the 70's. That would be nearly 4 decades.

In more recent editions, the only thing he said he would have changed in hindsight was that he had relied on governments, rather than the free market, to make his space colonies a reality.