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How Will Private Space Travel Transform NASA's Next 60 Years?
Space.com ^ | October 12, 2018 | Doris Elin Salazar, Space.com Contributor

Posted on 10/14/2018 8:09:58 AM PDT by ETL

NASA's next 60 years will probably be very different than its first six decades.

When the agency opened for business in 1958, private spaceflight was just a sci-fi dream. But companies such as Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin are working to make that dream a reality and open the space frontier to huge numbers of people for the first time.

What role will NASA play in the private sector's liftoff? Space.com recently talked to three commercial-spaceflight experts to get some ideas.

First, people should understand that about 75 percent of the worldwide space enterprise is already commercial, said Scott Hubbard, an adjunct professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University.  

This includes the satellites belonging to DirecTV and Sirius XM radio. What's new s"is the extension of that into the human realm," said Hubbard, who also previously directed NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. He served as the agency's "Mars czar," restructuring NASA's robotic Red Planet-exploration program after it suffered several failures in the 1990s. 

And if private companies can get the price of a suborbital flight down to about $50,000, "you get a lot of interest," Hubbard told Space.com.

The highest-profile program currently in the works between NASA and the private sector is the agency's Commercial Crew Program, said Eric Stallmer, president of the nonprofit Commercial Spaceflight Federation. 

Commercial Crew is encouraging the development of U.S. spacecraft that will carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS). Toward this end, NASA has awarded multibillion-dollar contracts to both SpaceX and Boeing, which are building capsules called Crew Dragon and CST-100 Starliner, respectively. These craft are currently scheduled to start flying astronauts sometime next year.

There's also the maturing commercial cargo program, which has given contracts to SpaceX and Northrop Grumman Corp. to fly robotic cargo missions to the ISS. Both of these companies have already completed numerous such flights.

Both Hubbard and Stallmer said that NASA wins by relying on private industry to provide such services in low Earth orbit. Hubbard argued that this strategy allows the space agency to continue "exploring the fringe where there really is no business case." 

NASA has a budget about five times larger than the next biggest national space agency out there, but the U.S. agency's ambitious goals are still costly, said Stallmer. To get the most bang for the buck, "you'd have to leverage the innovation and technology that is in the private sector and let NASA do the exquisite" projects. [How Will a Human Mars Base Work? NASA's Vision in Images]

The "exquisite" projects, Stallmer explained, are the "push-the-envelope-type things on deeper space exploration." 

"I see it not only as a cooperation or a collaboration, but maybe even interdependence," Hubbard said.  

"Without a thriving spaceflight entrepreneurship sector, I don't think that deep-space exploration with [regular] people is sustainable," he added. "And I think using the way in which the private sector has demonstrated they can reduce costs, through more nearly assembly-line production techniques, is really critical to sustainable space exploration in the future."

Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight at NASA, also advocated these public-private partnerships. Private companies offer the advantages of "being quick, being nimble, being fast, making a decision maybe without perfect knowledge — then moving forward and adjusting as required," McAlister told Space.com. 

NASA officials, he said, "have a lot of meetings … a lot of discussions, and things tend to take longer" than in private industry. 

"The private sector wanting to move fast and wanting to be cost-effective and NASA having our 50 years of human spaceflight experience … you bring those two things together, and they actually complement each other very effectively," McAlister said.

And there are more players within that private spaceflight "pie" now than there used to be, Stallmer said. Aerospace giants llike Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman Corp. build hardware for NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), but they'll likely also continue pursuing big-dollar defense contracts. These standard government contractors are no longer the only options NASA can choose from.

"I see in the future," Stallmer said, "the contracts that historically went to the big three or the big four are going elsewhere. And you're seeing smaller, more-nimble companies entering the marketplace and competing for a lot of this work. So, it won't be just your standard government contractors … it's a much larger pool … to choose from."

McAlister also said there's now a big shift in who owns and operates spacecraft, as a result of nongovernment spaceflight customers. 

"I think the emergence of nongovernment customers only really occurred in the last 10 or 15 years in the space industry," he said. "Prior to that, it was pretty much only NASA and governments [that] were the customers, and when you have that kind of scenario ... [it] makes sense for [NASA] to own and operate the hardware."

But, McAlister added, "when you have the opportunity for other customers, then it makes sense to shift some of that responsibility of development to the companies, to the private sector. Allow them to own and operate their hardware, and then they can sell it to other customers, and that brings the cost down for NASA and for everybody, because they can advertise their fixed cost over a larger customer base."

He called this "kind of a win-win scenario."

Who will these future spaceflight customers be? The rich, at least in the near term. After all, human space travel, even to the nearby suborbital realm, will likely remain quite expensive for a while, experts have said.

But that doesn't mean the rest of us have no role to play in the ongoing private-spaceflight revolution.

"I think we're going to need a lot of creative people," Stallmer said. "We're going to need a lot of builders ... not just aerospace engineers anymore. It's artisans, people that can use their hands."


TOPICS: Astronomy; Chit/Chat; Science
KEYWORDS: elonmusk; falcon9; falconheavy; flyingcars; privatespacetravel; spacex
Image result for How Will Private Space Travel Transform NASA's Next 60 Years?
An artist's illustration showing SpaceX BFR spaceships standing at the planned Red Planet outpost
"Mars Base Alpha." Credit: SpaceX

Image result for How Will Private Space Travel Transform NASA's Next 60 Years?
Artist's illustration of Blue Origin's powerful New Glenn rocket, which is scheduled to fly for the first
time in 2021. Credit: Blue Origin

1 posted on 10/14/2018 8:09:58 AM PDT by ETL
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To: ETL

The capability to go to space is the capability to rain tungsten rods down upon the earth.


2 posted on 10/14/2018 8:27:23 AM PDT by MrEdd (Caveat Emptor)
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To: MrEdd

The capability to go to space is the capability to rain tungsten rods down upon the earth.


Only Russia has enough tungsten to make that plan work, and if they stop exporting it, we cannot even make mil small arms bullets.


3 posted on 10/14/2018 8:34:18 AM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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To: ETL
Muslims NASA project photo qassam-launch.jpg

Hopefully by realizing NASA is a relic of the 50's and 60's and dissolve it.

4 posted on 10/14/2018 8:34:25 AM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: MrEdd

“This includes the satellites belonging to DirecTV and Sirius XM radio. “

I would like to see companies own engineers go up to fix their satellites.


5 posted on 10/14/2018 8:41:52 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Proud member of the DWN party. (Deplorable Wing Nut))
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To: ETL

It will not.

Private space travel will always be 5 to 10 years away.

It will never arrive.


6 posted on 10/14/2018 8:42:32 AM PDT by TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed (Yahuah Yahusha)
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To: ETL

It should cause NASA to be shut down.

JoMa


7 posted on 10/14/2018 9:13:23 AM PDT by joma89
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To: joma89

New NASA chief Bridenstine says humans contribute to climate change 'in a major way'

FoxNews/Science ^ | May 22, 2018 | Sarah Lewin

In a NASA town hall yesterday (May 17), NASA's new administrator, Jim Bridenstine, said that he knows Earth's climate is changing, and that humans contribute to it "in a major way," also supporting NASA's research into that important area. The statement is significant because Bridenstine has expressed doubt about human-caused climate change in the past, causing some to question his suitability to lead a fact-focused NASA.

In 2013, as an Oklahoma congressman, Bridenstine claimed there was no current trend toward global warming. More recently, such as in his NASA administrator confirmation hearings last November, he has acknowledged that human activity contributes to climate change. But he had stopped short of saying that humans are the phenomenon's primary cause.

At the NASA employee town hall, Bridenstine described how his thinking had "evolved" on the topic and laid out his current beliefs.

"I don't deny the consensus that the climate is changing; in fact, I fully believe and know that the climate is changing," he said. "I also know that we, human beings, are contributing to it in a major way. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. We're putting it into the atmosphere in volumes that we haven't seen, and that greenhouse gas is warming the planet.

"That is absolutely happening, and we are responsible for it," he added. "NASA is the one agency on the face of the planet that has the most credibility to do the science necessary so that we can understand it better than ever before."

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...

Image result for jim bridenstine nasa

Image result for Nye will be Bridenstine’s guest State of the Union

8 posted on 10/14/2018 9:17:15 AM PDT by ETL (Obama-Hillary, REAL Russia collusion! Uranium-One Deal, Missile Defense, Iran Deal, Nukes: Click ETL)
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To: joma89
gifs website

gifs website

"What do I think of the new NASA administrator?
He's OK, I guess.
A little stupid on the "global warming" nonsense, though."


9 posted on 10/14/2018 9:19:26 AM PDT by ETL (Obama-Hillary, REAL Russia collusion! Uranium-One Deal, Missile Defense, Iran Deal, Nukes: Click ETL)
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To: TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed
"It will not.

Private space travel will always be 5 to 10 years away.

It will never arrive."


The first manned private space flights took place in 2004.

You need a cave with better television reception.

10 posted on 10/14/2018 9:20:49 AM PDT by Paal Gulli
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To: joma89

Astronaut Trump? Ivanka says she wanted to go to space in NASA visit

Space.com ^ | Sept 24, 2018 | Elizabeth Howell, Space.com Contributor

11 posted on 10/14/2018 9:24:02 AM PDT by ETL (Obama-Hillary, REAL Russia collusion! Uranium-One Deal, Missile Defense, Iran Deal, Nukes: Click ETL)
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To: ETL

Just the possibility of “private” space travel could be providing the impetus for the focus on a “Space Force”. Gazillionaires, like Soros, could finance attacks from outer space; space-terrorists to wreak havoc on America, and it’s allies.

Also, America’s superior military strength would be for naught if another country attacked us from space.

Reagan’s “Star Wars” initiative doesn’t seem so “far-fetched” as time and technology advances. The best offense is a good defense.


12 posted on 10/14/2018 9:27:46 AM PDT by FrankR (You gotta stand for something, or you'll fall for anything!)
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To: ETL

Neil DeGrasse Tyson has a great video about this on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAdAcZFsTpw Short version (with some of my opinions blended in): Government entities have a place in opening up new frontiers because no method exists to establish a capital valuation for a bunch of reasons. But once a frontier is opened up, costs, risks, and profits can be determined, and then the private sector comes in. Uses an analogy to sea exploration by Europeans with respect to the Americas. His opinion: NASA should have been out of the job of shipping stuff to orbit decades ago. Private companies should have taken over. Well, they finally are, and then NASA can more on to expanding frontiers.


13 posted on 10/14/2018 9:53:26 AM PDT by piytar (If it was not for double standards, the Democrats and the left would have NO standards.)
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To: PIF

Looks to me like it’s China: https://www.indexmundi.com/minerals/?product=tungsten&graph=production But I could be wrong.


14 posted on 10/14/2018 9:56:12 AM PDT by piytar (If it was not for double standards, the Democrats and the left would have NO standards.)
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To: PIF

China is actually the big fish at 79 million Mt per year.

As to reserves on the North American continent, Bishop area of California, Nahanni area of western Northwest Territories, Canada. Drakelands Mine(Hemerdon) has a resource estimate of over 318 thousand metric ton of tungsten. Throw in Spain, Vietnam, and Rwanda for measure.

Market appears saturated with cheap Tungsten at the moment. Could stockpile ingot now at less than $11USD pound. Works out to $250,000 per large RFG in raw material.

At 18km.sec impact velocity and 11 metric ton, could yield .43 kiloton equivalent directed in a narrow shock-cone rather than omnidirectional. Control through plasma MHD is key to retaining more energy than simple ballistic re-entry.


15 posted on 10/14/2018 10:00:34 AM PDT by Ozark Tom
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To: SunkenCiv

*ping*


16 posted on 10/14/2018 12:59:34 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj ("It's Slappin' Time !")
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To: Paal Gulli

Paal Gulli,

Okay. So where do I by my ticket?

... Crickets ...

(I thought so.)


17 posted on 10/14/2018 1:06:10 PM PDT by TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed (Yahuah Yahusha)
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To: Paal Gulli

buy


18 posted on 10/14/2018 1:08:08 PM PDT by TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed (Yahuah Yahusha)
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To: fieldmarshaldj
The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was formed on March 3, 1915
It was reorganized as NASA in 1958. On the one hand, Eisenhower prevented the US from orbiting the first satellite because he thought it would be "provocative". The USSR wasn't worried about that, and a year later sent up Sputnik. Great call, Ike.

OTOH, the F1 engine was made possible because of the large physical size and mass of Ed Teller's H-bomb design (Ivy MIke), and von Braun saw his chance to build his moon rocket motor, and development began in 1955, during the Eisenhower administration. By the time the military pulled the plug on it because of the emergence of a smaller H-bomb design (Castle Bravo) that worked, much of the F1 work was done, NASA picked up the development program, and by the time JFK was in office, the F1 had been tuned to eliminate combustion instability, and the first ones were delivered in 1963.

19 posted on 10/14/2018 2:47:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (and btw -- https://www.gofundme.com/for-rotator-cuff-repair-surgery)
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