Applied Technology Institute (ATIcourses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering. We think the news below could be of interest to our readers. Fiery failures are no stranger to the space game. It’s what happens when you push the boundaries of what technology can do, where people can go. And it happened again to Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. In the past decade, the space industry has tried to go from risky and government-run to routine private enterprise — so routine that if you have lots of money you can buy a ticket on a private spaceship and become a space tourist. More than 500 people have booked a flight, including Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher and little known space scientist Alan Stern. But it all depends on flying becoming safe and routine. This week hasn’t helped. Three days after a private unmanned Orbital Sciences rocket taking cargo up to the International Space Station blew up six seconds into its flight, a test flight of SpaceShipTwo exploded over the Mojave Desert with two people on board, killing one crew member. The developments reignited the debate about the role of business in space and whether it is or will ever be safe enough for everyday people looking for an expensive 50-mile (80-kilometre)-high thrill ride. “It’s a real setback to the idea that lots of people are going to be taking joyrides into the fringes of outer space any time soon,” said John Logsdon, retired space policy director at George Washington University. “There were a lot of people who believed that the technology to carry people is safely at hand.” The question for space tourism might be, “if it survives,” Logsdon said. But he thinks its momentum in recent years will keep it alive. Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson expressed the same view on November 1 after arriving in Mojave, California, to meet with the project workforce reeling from the accident. “We would love to finish what was started some years ago, and I think pretty well all our astronauts would love us to finish it, love to go to space,” he said. “Millions of people in the world would love to one day have the chance to go to space.” Federal estimates of the commercial space industry —only a little of it involving tourism — exceed US$200 billion. NASA is counting on private companies such as SpaceX and Orbital Sciences to haul cargo to the space station. They are also spending billions to help SpaceX and Boeing build ships that will eventually take people there, too.
Can US private space survive two explosions in four days?
Applied Technology Institute (ATIcourses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering. We think the news below could be of interest to our readers. Fiery failures are no stranger to the space game. It’s what happens when you push the boundaries of what technology can do, where people can go. And it […]