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Home / Science / A Space Travel Industry May Leave NASA's Astronauts Behind – Axios

A Space Travel Industry May Leave NASA's Astronauts Behind – Axios



  • However, when the private industry takes targets for manned spacecraft in near-Earth orbit and gives up the funding and political support of NASA missions to the Moon or Mars, it may not make sense to have a government-sponsored one To have people at all Space program.

The News reads: On Friday, NASA announced it was creating a market for private manned spacecraft in near-Earth orbit.

  • The agency wants American companies to fly their astronauts first to the US International Space Station from 2020 and later to space stations run by companies themselves.

The Hook: NASA is giving up control of manned spaceflight in orbit, a region of central importance to geosciences and other discoveries, largely risking that its manned space program will be more heavily influenced by political whims ,

  • Today, NASA is partly using the International Space Station as a testbed for further exploration of the Solar System
  • With the aging of the ISS toward obsolescence, NASA may eventually conduct this research on private outposts.
  • However, if space missions are delayed or canceled at the same time, it's harder to see where NASA astronauts fit into this wider landscape.

"If the private sector takes the orbit of low earth and the political support for exploration decreases, what is the reason for a government program?"

– John Logsdon, Founder Between the Lines: It is realistic to imagine that NASA's exploration targets will shift in the short or long term. The space agency is constantly confronted with political problems as new administrations take control and impose new space goals.

  • The impetus to engage private companies in the human space game is partly due to the need to reduce the cost of launching NASA into orbit.
  • ] The agency currently spends approximately $ 1.8 billion on its $ 3-4 billion budget for Transportation Stations.
  • Lowering launch costs would free up money for NASA's broader exploration targets.

But, but, but: It is not yet known exactly how much demand exists in the private sector for manned space flights into near-earth orbit. A 2017 report examining the market for a privately-operated space station revealed that there is still no obvious, profit-driven demand for such a facility in orbit.

Luckily, sometime in the next decade The International Space Station program is likely to end the life of the country, bringing to an end a unique and successful place for international diplomacy.

Where it stands: The ISS has been a source of international collaboration in space since the launch of the first module in 1998, but when the program ends there may not be a publicly funded replacement along the way.

Details: Even though NASA's Private Space Stations Never Trust Now In reality, the major components of the ISS will eventually reach orbit in orbit.

  • "[T] Start early so that a private sector space station may be available for NASA needs." NASA Associate Adm. Instructor William Gerstenmaier said during a NASA press conference at Nasdaq Headquarters in New York on Friday :

The Impact: When the Space Station ends, international space cooperation might look very different. In fact, it could instead give way to growing competition.

  • The space competitor China is planning to launch its own Space Station by 2022, but it is not clear what kind of cooperation US companies can call with the nation.
  • NASA's Private Space Stations May One Day Be Used Astronauts from countries other than the US are also visiting and democratizing manned space around the world.
  • NASA continues to plan to collaborate with other manned spaceflight space programs when the station ends. For example, the agency is working with Europe and Japan on its Artemis program to bring astronauts back to the moon.

Yes, but: Private sector space stations are less likely to play a major role in space diplomacy, as they will aim for profit.

  • The ISS has behaved like a peacekeeping force in the past. (For example, Russia and the US were divided on Earth in 2014, but the two countries still had to work together in space.)
  • It remains to be seen if a private space station can take on this role as well.

Deeper: NASA expects private companies to assist in the commercialization of near-Earth orbit.


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