In this post we will profile four New-Space companies to keep on your radar. I’m basing this list, from least to greatest, on things such as a company’s participation with pre-existing space-exploration establishments such as NASA, the extent of their future plans, and the progress they have made so far. This list is not by any means exhaustive, and I do not claim to know the plans, values, or priorities of these companies. I can only surmise based on what the companies write on their sites, and what their CEO’s say in interviews.
Number 4 – Virgin Galactic is an aerospace company mostly involved with suborbital flight tourist attractions. You can see such a flight here:
Number 3 – According to Inverse.com, the commercial space company Blue Origin has been testing out its New Shepard line of rockets, in preparation to enter the game and start seriously competing with SpaceX and Boeing’s current monopoly on NASA contracts. You could almost call it a new space race of a different sort, although this company does seem to have its sights set more on space tourism than hauling cargo for NASA, with plans for such an attraction becoming operational as soon as 2018. Ultimately, however, he wants you to stay in space. He seems to view outer space as vast unclaimed stretches of prime real-estate just waiting to be developed and populated. As a side-note of interest, the owner of this fledgling young company is also the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos.
Number 2 – From the early days of spaceflight, Boeing and NASA go way back. Boeing was making deals with the agency before it was cool. This company has teamed up with Lockheed Martin , another old company involved in space travel, in the United Launch Alliance, in an effort to offer launching services for various missions, utilizing its Delta IV and Atlas V rockets. In addition, it boasts the (CST)-100 Starliner spacecraft, which according to the Boeing website “is being developed in collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The Starliner was designed to accommodate seven passengers, or a mix of crew and cargo, for missions to low-Earth orbit”.
In addition, they have:
- The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle
- the XS-1 Experimental Space-plane, still under design.
- A stated dedication to continuing the advance of space-travel
Number one is SpaceX. This is the commercial spaceflight company you’ve most likely heard of, and it just happens to be owned by the visionary entrepreneur, Elon Musk .
– yes, that guy – the same man who brought you the electric vehicle known as a Tesla (and someday, maybe even a hyperloop). As mentioned in last week’s post, he has contributed space vehicles such as the Dragon and the Dragon V2, but he has much bigger plans than that. He also wants to colonize mars, and after that, perhaps even the greater reaches of space. The capsule he is posing in front of may look cramped – and that is probably because it is, despite the deceivingly roomy appearance of the interior in this photo:
But once we put people in it….
At least the chairs look comfortable.
Musk is also interested in reusable rockets; he views them as essential for the future colonization of the red planet. Here is the reusable Falcon X rocket landing/ Note Musk’s enthusiasm.
Sadly, it was recently damaged in an accident.
Despite his big dreams for space travel, he is not without distractions and drawbacks. He has his other company, Tesla, to think of, and his aerospace company has not been free from disasters like those seen in the past by NASA space-craft.
A real spaceport, which is used by companies such as Virgin Galactic and SpaceX .
Thank you for reading. Be sure to check back next Friday for a brief history of spaceflight. I would recommend subscribing for the convenience of having the next post show up in your inbox as soon as it is posted. Any feedback, comments, questions, observations, suggestions – or even complaints – are more than welcome. I look forward to hearing from you.