Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Market Argument for Commercial Space

I am sick of the market argument for Commercial Space. Was there a market for the car when everyone was happy with their horses and buggies? Was there a market for the airplane when most people were terrified of the prospect of flying and content with the status quo? Is there ever a market for radical technological shifts? I say no, but that doesn't stop progress! Nor should it stop innovation because there's no apparent market yet.

Build it and they will come. Develop the Commercial Space Industry, even if the govt. has to subsidize it at first, and people will find a way to use it. The market will develop and grow. The systems will improve, the advances will be astounding and the costs will drop. The growth will be immense and the prosperity of our species will be ensured once we start to utilize space and its resources.

I firmly believe that there will NEVER be a time when the government will do anything cost effectively. That's just not what they do. The commercialization of space will be the only method by which we see space travel costs drop to the point that you or I can go after just saving a reasonable amount of money.

Also, this nonsense of people complaining of no commercial market right now is ridiculous. There is a current market. Right now, it's rich people. That's how it usually is. There is also scientific interest in low cost commercial space. Let's not forget Bigelow, who wants to put his hotels up there. He's one of those customers that spawns even more customers, the people visiting his hotel! Now put several hotels up there and see how that grows the market. Add in orbiting fuel depots which can be commercial, located in LEO, GEO, L-points and around the Moon, and you have a whole new market sector where other private fliers and governments are the customers.

This isn't difficult to wrap your head around, so why the hell does Congress and government space make this so difficult. I'm starting to get the feeling that govt. space doesn't WANT a commercial sector to compete with, because they know they'll lose. They (Congress) needs their pet project in order to garner votes during elections...using NASA as a jobs program more than a science and technology program. The people working in government space want to hold their jobs, which is beyond me, because if they are worth a damn, they can get jobs in the private sector building commercial space ships and systems. I guess they just like their cushy, can't fire me, do a little but get paid a lot jobs.

I'm sick of the gray hairs running things! I'm sick of this stupid argument that commercial space isn't yet viable! If not now, then when?! Never on your watch, grandpa, I guarantee that, because you are stuck in the world of government space running the show. Well, that time is coming to a close and it will be us young whipper snappers that put you in your place, change the paradigm, shift the focus, and make dreams reality.

It's time for us to demand the proper courses of action, or get into office ourselves and make it happen. It's time for US to take the torch, because it won't be handed to us, that's for sure. It's time for us to be the game changers, the ones history will look back on and note as the one damn generation that actually stood up and carried humanity on it's back into the stars! We are the ones who will affect the right change, the ones who will turn sci-fi into sci-fact, and we must do it NOW!

Vote with space in mind. Run for office with space in mind. Ensure every decision you ever make has space in mind, because space exploration and development solves so many issues all at once. We get that, so now it's time for us to make sure everyone else gets it too!


Fledi said...

Wonderful. I fully agree. I better go back to continue working on it.

Carlo said...

Wow, I couldn't agree more.

Marcel F. Williams said...

In my opinion, the role of government is to do those things that need to be done that private industry: either cannot do, or cannot do as efficiently as the government can, or simply refuses to do.

The Soviet government was the first to place a satellite into orbit. If the world had waited around for private industry to place a satellite into orbit, we'd probably still be waiting! That's because private industry is really into investing in sure things that can make them quick profits.

Of course now that governments started a space industry, the satellite telecommunications industry is now a $100 billion dollar a year industry world wide.

What the private manned commercial launch companies need is a manned space vehicle equivalent of the D-3 airplane that revolutionized the commercial airline industry in America back in the 1930s and 1940s-- a propeller aircraft that still flies today! And NASA and the Air Force along with private industry are probably the best organizations we have to develop such a vehicles for NASA, the military, and most importantly, for private industry.

Personally, I think a shuttle derived SSTO Jupiter-lite vehicle (Jupiter without the SRBs) could by the DC-3 of the commercial space flight industry since such a single stage to orbit vehicle could launch an Orion or perhaps a man rated reusable winged vehicle like the Air Force X-37.

The struggling LA county based Sea Launch company has been around for about a decade now. But I still like their chances! And a SSTO Jupiter-lite vehicle would be perfect for the Sea Launch configuration. This could make every coastal port in the US a potential assembly and home port for equatorial ocean based manned Sea Launch vehicles.