Hidden Nook

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Saturday, March 12, 2005

Space Tourism Without NASA?

[Media Source*]

According to Rick N. Tumlinson it can!

"I believe the new space frontier movement can survive and even begin the opening of space completely on its own, even if NASA vanished tomorrow."

"I am not stretching reality. At some point in the next 10 years the private sector will attain the ability to transport relatively large numbers of people and payloads to and from low Earth orbit on its own, to house them while they are in orbit and to develop the infrastructure needed for industrial development."

This is good news indeed! With space travel already becoming more inexpensive (okay, $200,000 is still expensive but that is better than $20 million) my dream of becoming a space tourist is quickly becoming a reality.

Tumlinson gives more reasons why NASA will be outdone by the private sector.
Look at the contrasts. Bigelow is assuming that his $50 million dollar America’s Prize will result in a safe and reusable passenger capsule for roundtrips between Earth and low Earth orbit. NASA is expecting to spend over $10 billion dollars to develop the same sort of capability. Yes, Bigelow expects the winner to spend far more than the actual prize amount based on hopes of follow-on markets; and yes, the winning capsule will have fewer bells and whistles that anything NASA builds, but the magnitude of difference in the development costs is ridiculous.

NASA's budget is ridiculous, but one thing I would suggest to them is that they operate like the Pentagon and award contracts out to private companies (basically pay people millions to develop better technology for you). Doing so would not only improve the aging technology we already use as well as provide initiative for us to not only get on the Moon but establish a base there as well.

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By Darnell Clayton • 1:16 AM • Email Post • •


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