(Notice) The billionaire space race has only just begun
Of course, this begs the question: what is the value of commercializing spaceflight, including such ambitious projects as establishing a manned base on the Moon or Mars? Personally, I have publicly questioned the viability of such missions at a reasonable cost. While no one can dispute how captivating such targets can be to the public, a manned mission to Mars is prohibitively expensive, and I never see Mars colonized. If we want to find places to live, we could “colonize” remote areas of Canada and Siberia for much less.
Either way, the greatly reduced cost of using SpaceX to launch objects into space is obviously appealing. This means that scientists can spend more on the scientific instrumentation of their satellites. And, as a scientist who is passionate about what NASA has done over the years, I can’t help but notice that a lower launch cost could lead to many more interesting science missions.
The bottom line is that commercializing space will reduce launch costs, and this has benefits for anyone who needs to lift an object above Earth’s atmosphere. My interest is to launch satellites carrying telescopes that can study the cosmos and those that can monitor the well-being of our planet. I’m not as interested in Disney rides on steroids – maybe because I’ll never be able to afford such a trip – but if these launches generate revenue for companies to design better, more economical rockets, I am. quite for him.
It is evident that commercial spaceflight has benefits for a wide range of customers and the three existing companies will be competing for revenue. It helps us all, maybe because one business is more efficient than others. And there is always the possibility that another company will pick up the baton and win the race for commercial space.
Let the competition begin.