It is a very expensive endeavor. I could only hope for more participation by other start-up companies.
But, if the commercialization of space does take place in earnest then it would be justified to establish "space-faring" standards. I am not arguing for more and denser govt intervention--but the last thing the world needs is more space debris. Perhaps, a "start-up" company can address the situation of space debris?
ESA is addressing the issue of space debris. Here is the link with the details of 6th European Conference on Space Debris - today is the final day of the conference!
Thanks for the link and information.
Lately I just read about an increasing trend of “coopertition” (cooperation + competition) among major companies in commercial space ventures, according to which these companies work together in research and education issues to achieve their desired goals, at the same time they try to outperform each other and compete when exposed to the market. Also, these companies together build an industry within which they are focusing on different areas of expertise. So, the end result is definitely a much better product. Moreover, the companies like Blue Origin and SpaceX are trying to amend their strategies to make the human space exploration more frequent, less-expensive, and less-risky; in this way, planning to get more people into space. With this, future of commercial space exploration seems quite promising and I hope this commercialization will continue pushing boundaries of space exploration in the future! Building the commercial partnerships is indeed a revolutionary endeavor that NASA is fostering and the unprecedented reach of human explorers into deeper space is clearly foreseeable!
Thank you both for your comments! And great ones they are. Space debris is definitely an issue, and there is a Swiss team working on a potential solution: "CleanSpace One"
I think it is important to differentiate between commercial delivery of goods to Low Earth Orbit, vs commercial deep space exploration. One generates revenue, the other doesn't (or at least the business plan to do so isn't clear in my head). The launch sector to deliver payloads into space has matured over the decades that governments has been doing so, as such it makes sense in my mind to transition this "routine" task to the commercial sector, so that "coopertition" (great word Anush!) can drive the costs down. This liberates a good chunk of change for government investment into deep space technologies, where a return in the investment isn't immediately necessary, but a very worthwhile endeavor, as the rewards can be amazing.
I think only very successful commercial companies will be able to afford commercial deep space exploration for the sake of exploring, rather than prospecting..
Interesting point Sanjoy! It was SpaceUp Seattle symposium where the concept of "coopertition" was proposed as key for commercial space exploration. By reducing the cost of space travel and developing a better crew transportation system, through "coopertition", these companies are actually trying to make human space flights more feasible and frequent. I, too, am not very sure about what businesses may or may not be profitable for these companies and for the government, but, as far as commercial interplanetary and deep space exploration is concerned there are certain pioneering companies like DeepSpace Industries and Planetary Resources that are planned for targeting Asteroids; Gloden Spike, committed for frequent human expeditions to the Moon (without gov. funding) http://goldenspikecompany.com/ (sounds really exciting endeavor!), and Biglow Aerospace, which is also on the way of doing exciting things with other collaborations.