Help Wanted: Space exploration – Is it now private companies’ territory?

Talk (6)

Hubert Lindsay

Hubert Lindsay

"It could be interesting to compare th..."

David Calder

"It's an interesting discussion point...."

Allen Foley

Harry Ridgewell

Harry Ridgewell

"brilliant. great points. thank you an..."

Hi! I’m working on a piece about how the rise of private space companies is a relatively recent one and asking if their impact makes state space programs redundant.

If you would like to discuss, please contribute on the TALK page.

Some questions I’m trying to answer

  • Who can do space exploration cheaper: the state or private sector?
  • Does the state get enough benefit from space related programs?
  • Is space related research going to almost solely become private companies’ territory in the future?

How you can help

  • If anybody out there works in the space sector, whether that be public or private, or is a researcher, lecturer, scientist etc it would be great to hear from you. Please contribute your expert opinions on how you think the two sectors differ, what they achieve or their downsides, future predictions of the state and private space sector, what you are working on and other ideas.
  • If you come across relevant articles or reports please link to them on the TALK page.
  • Provide relevant statistics such as how much GDP do countries/have countries spent on space programs in the past?
  • Include any benefits or disadvantages state/private space exploration has given.

Started by

United Kingdom
Harry is one of the journalists at WikiTribune. He is a masters graduand from Cardiff University, with a diploma in Magazine Journalism. He has an interest in politics and science, having previously studied Geography at Aberystwyth University. Follow Harry on Twitter @harryridgewell

History for stories "Help Wanted: Space exploration – Is it now private companies’ territory?"

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07 February 2018

• (view) . . Comment: Student press freedom: an assault on youth or protection of authority?‎; 17:16:40, 07 Feb 2018 . . Robert Levine (talk | contribs)‎‎ ( Comment -> There might be some value to looking into separating high school from college level press. There are different issues relating to minors that were addressed, at least partially, in Tinker that don't apply to adults, i.e., over 18. Another side note comes to mind: it might be interesting to compare what is going on at present with what happened in the early 1960's with Mario Savio and the "Free Speech Movement" at U.California: Berkeley. There the issue of student organizations wishing to have the right to invite speakers without university administrative approval spawned many other campus reforms. )

12 January 2018

29 November 2017

Talk for Story "Help Wanted: Space exploration – Is it now private companies’ territory?"

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  1. Other

    It could be interesting to compare the mission statements of the private companies with those of various governments. US, France, China of course, but countries in Africa have had active space programs for decades.

  2. Other

    It’s an interesting discussion point. My assumption is that space agencies have been funded by governments in the past, make money by selling services to private companies (e.g. comms satellites), and are now buying services from private companies because they’re offered much cheaper (e.g. re-stocking missions to the ISS). I suppose the next logical step is to cut out the middle man and offer the services direct to the customers. But then maybe space agencies provide a lot of services that need to be properly regulated e.g. launch sites, flight times etc. that the private companies just don’t want to get involved with anyway. Either way, it’s an exciting step along the ladder of space exploration and not the one many of us would have expected even ten years ago.

  3. Rewrite
  4. Other

    Who can do space exploration cheaper: the state or private sector?
    The comparisons on this pretty much should be between the NASA SLS system and SpaceX’s BFR for deep space missions from my understanding. As far as orbital missions go it would probably be necessary to compare most of the launch vehicles that are planned and have LEO capabilities on the Launch vehicles table on this page:
    Otherwise we might instead just look at the combined cheapest and most likely to succeed currently of those.

    Does the state get enough benefit from space related programs?
    There are actually quite a few articles I have seen over the years describing the direct financial benefits of space related research but NASA also lists a number of uses that their technology is currently being used in. Here is just an initial list of links that may be useful:

    Is space related research going to almost solely become private companies’ territory in the future?
    Private sector is mostly working on rocket and space structure technology at the moment. State projects(for NASA anyways) is currently dealing with supporting technologies such as biological, meteorological, and computational systems. The SLS is the only mission listed on their “What’s Next For NASA” page that couldn’t be directly accomplished on commercial space flights.

    I am an engineer that is not currently working in the sector but have been following things as closely as is reasonable. My main knowledge is actually in the computational/robotic research that is currently being conducted by NASA and through their community initiatives. If I can help in any way let me know!

    1. Rewrite

      brilliant. great points. thank you and not going to turn down the offer of more help!

  5. Rewrite
    jim tech admin

    I’d love to help – great to see this get off the ground!

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