Apr 26, 2021
The cost and ease of getting to space are about to improve by
many orders of magnitude. This will drive the space industry to be
one of the biggest sources of growth over the next 10-20 years.
This is the first of a two-part essay on the upcoming future of the
See the full post: https://futureblind.com/2021/03/03/the-future-of-space-1/
Footnotes & References
Here’s a timeline of a few milestones of the recent
commercialization of space:
- 2008-12 — Commercial Resupply Services
(CRS) contract of $1.6B to SpaceX and $1.9B to Orbital Sciences to
deliver supplies to ISS. This helps fund Falcon 9 development.
- 2012-05 — SpaceX Dragon capsule launches
“empty” to perform tests and dock with the ISS, the first
commercial spacecraft ever to do so.
- 2012-10 — SpaceX CRS-1 mission sends
Dragon with supplies to ISS. Dragon is the only cargo vehicle at
the time capable of returning supplies to
- 2014-09 — NASA awards final Commercial
Crew Program (CCP) contract to SpaceX ($2.6B) and Boeing ($4.2B)
for the capability to send 4-5 astronauts to the ISS. First flights
for both initially planned in 2017.
- 2020-01 — NASA awards Axiom Space
the first ever contract to
build a commercial module for the ISS.
- 2020-04 — NASA awards lunar lander
contracts to Blue Origin, Dynetics, and SpaceX under the Artemis
program. The goal is to land “the first woman and the next man” on
the Moon by 2024.
- 2020-05 — Commercial Crew Demo mission
sends 2 astronauts to ISS. These are the first astronauts on a
commercial mission, and the first from US soil since retirement of
the Space Shuttle in 2011. 10 million people worldwide watched it
- 2020-11 — Crew 1, the first operational
flight, sends 4 astronauts to ISS. Due to delays and other issues,
Boeing’s Starliner isn’t set to fly for another year.
- 2020-12 — NASA awards Blue Origin a
Launch Services contract to transport planetary, Earth observation,
exploration and scientific satellites.