Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Is NewSpace Becoming Mainstream?

SpaceToys.com Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
Often seen as the weirdo outsiders with too much time (and too little money) on their hands, the private space industry--often called NewSpace--are often marginalized to the side of the "overall space race" with greater emphasis placed upon NASA and their favorite pals Lockheed-Martin and Boeing.

But with the Bigelow Aerospace partnering with Lockheed-Martin, Dan Schrimpsher from Space Pragmatism brings up an interesting point regarding this relationship.

(Space Pragmatism) It is common among new space folks to talk about traditional aerospace as "dinosaurs" who live off the government and pooh-pooh creativity and innovation. However, what I think this proves it the more correct statement that they are looking for profit.

Lockheed builds rockets for the military and NASA because it is a safe way to make money. What the new agreement with Bigelow shows me is that Lockheed Martin sees these stations as a viable way to make money. They don't normally push new ideas because they are risky.

If Lockheed sees this new venture as a future success, could it be a signal that NewSpace is becoming more mainstream? If so that is good news for the tiny space firms that dot the American soil, not to mention public companies like SPACEHAB and SpaceDev.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

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~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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