There are growing signs that outer space is going to become the domain of private enterprise. Since the U.S. space program began, it has been largely controlled by the federal government. But that’s all changing.
The first spaceport just broke ground in New Mexico. The first commercial spaceline is being built and citizen-astronauts are ponying up a lot of money for a ride to sub-orbital space. There is even one hotelier just waiting to start building space resorts.
The personal spaceflight industry kicked off five years ago when Burt Rutan won the Ansari X PRIZE, the first in a series of commercial competitions to solve big human problems. X PRIZE founder Peter Diamandis has been pushing for private enterprise to join the space race and now it appears NASA may be more open to outsourcing some parts of the space program to commercial interests.
Photo of Dr. Stephen Hawking with Peter Diamandis in zero gravity, courtesy of Diamandis