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3 Advantages to Commercializing Space Travel

Posted January 22, 2015 12:00 AM by CR4 Guest Author
Pathfinder Tags: space travel

In the year 2010, ironically the same year 2010: Odyssey Two sequel takes place, the federal government of the United States developed a budget that eliminates the space travel budget. In 2010: Odyssey Two competing nations are racing to learn more about the monolith guarding the planet Europa and a variety of nations develop unique technology that propels them to that distant planet all in a race to arrive first. The new budget and funding strategy set forth by the US government seems to have set the stage for either the private sector to step up and commercialize space travel or to promote a reliance on foreign governments for any space travel.

So what are the benefits to the space industry with this new strategy?

Improve creativity and reduce bureaucracy

It is no secret that government contracts can be hindered by bureaucracy to the point that creativity is squelched and progress is stalled. One strategy that the federal government had considered when developing this space exploration budget was to gradually phase out the space program and transition this work to the commercial arena. This idea was not accepted by the private sector as they were not interested in taking on the overhead burden of managing government bureaucracy in their development efforts.

They chose to focus their engineering and development teams on engineering the next generation technology rather than transitioning old government projects. By avoiding government bureaucracy, these new space travel companies have already demonstrated success and come up with new ideas and designs that are currently being tested in the field.

Innovative, can-do attitude

The NASA space program is filled with talented engineers who solved many of the early problems encountered with space travel and led the world in space exploration, but now is the time for a new generation of engineers to come on board. This new talent is raised in the electronic age and has new ideas and work ethics that they bring to the industry. They are not burdened by the 'that's just how things are done' attitude and have been brought up to challenge the status quo and look for innovative creative solutions to problems. In addition, these innovative designers are more open to collaborating with all available resources worldwide instead of working in closed silos that so often happen with government development projects.

Advancement through competition

The space program evolved and gained popularity by national pride when your own country achieved a technology milestone before another country. This lasted for many decades of space exploration but has now gone to the wayside as other countries are achieving these important milestones and contributing to the international space station research and space exploration. By moving space exploration into the private sector it reawakens that competitive spirit in the entrepreneurs that chose to invest resources in developing the next generation of space travel. The newly created company Virgin Galactic has stepped up to the challenge of developing the next generation space vehicle using a shuttle system that carries a space vehicle underneath a launch plane and releases it at a designated altitude. This unique strategy is currently being tested and Virgin Galactic has sold space travel tickets to many wealthy buyers that have helped to fund their development costs. These innovative thoughts and designs have put them in first place for the commercialization of space travel.

When technology is commercialized and moved out of the government arena is when some of the biggest advances are made. No longer are people hampered by the government bureaucracy that hampers development and squelches creativity but instead they can reach for the stars and come up with new ideas so that in the words of Star Trek's Captain Kirk, they can "boldly go where no man has gone before."

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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: About 4000 miles from the center of the earth (+/-100 mi)
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#1

Re: 3 Advantages to Commercializing Space Travel

01/25/2015 12:15 PM

It's still a long way from "commercialized" if I'd have to cash in my 401K for a single ride!

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