Dreamers and Doers
What is it going to take to engage the dreamers and doers to enhance our technological capabilities through space exploration and be able to harness financial stakeholders? A set of entrepreneurs are setting the bar of the emerging NewSpace market.
Several are offering transportation services for entertainment (human spaceflights) and scientific research purposes, including Virgin Galactic, Space Adventures, XCOR Aerospace, Blue Origin, and Masten Space Systems. These companies are still in their development and test stages and they have started to capture the available market. The Lunar Market, which is now emerging, was sparked by the XPRIZE Foundation through the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a $30M dollar incentive prize to the first company to land a privately funded payload on the moon. NASA, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the Indian Space Research Organization have a vested interest as they have sent their LCROSS, KAGUYA, and Chandrayaan spacecraft to map and detect resources on the lunar surface. Golden Spike is another NewSpace Company that plans on providing frequent human expeditions to the moon and plans to monetize these through: sales, public participation, media rights, expedition naming rights, sales of items flown, sales of returned items, and entertainment products that market each expedition.
This particular statement made by Haym Benaroya, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Rutgers University, posted an opinion on SPACENEWS that provides some perspective on the technological ambitions in the 1960’s:
"What did we get in return? We landed men on the Moon. On a political level, the nation demonstrated its engineering and scientific superpower status. To paraphrase Kennedy, the United States was able to marshal tremendous intellectual and material resources in a short period of time to solve a problem that only a few years before was deemed beyond humanity’s reach. The space race born of the Cold War gave birth to a very long list of technologies resulting in numerous industries that gave impetus to our economy, from which we benefit to this day. Included in this bounty are the medical sciences and technologies that we depend on, as well as the rarely mentioned ability to manage super-large projects of tremendous intricacies and logistical challenges."
Complete article can be seen here: http://www.spacenews.com/article/opinion/38346why-the-moon-and-how
As you are reading this:
- Yutu, a rover from the China National Space Administration that is part of their Chang’e 3 mission, is orbiting the Moon. http://goo.gl/ihkVRi
- 22 international private companies are participating in the Google Lunar XPRIZE to fulfill the first private lunar mission. http://goo.gl/4mkpvB
- Bigelow Aerospace plans on having inflatable modules on the lunar surface. http://goo.gl/4GRwpJ
- Golden Spike plans on sending humans back to the moon. http://goo.gl/8tfEGR
This is just the beginning of the NewSpace era and during the next couple of years you will be able to witness what lies ahead.