Commercial Space Travel

Essay by sgee13University, Bachelor'sA, April 2006

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Space travel has made people dream about what is out there for years. Since the early days of science fiction on television, the idea of space has played a growing role in popular culture. Those who have been lucky enough to visit space have all confirmed that it is a highly enjoyable experience. The concept of visiting practically uncharted areas and seeing things only a select few have seen is very intriguing. With the idea of commercializing space travel on the verge of reality people are checking there bank accounts for the funds to fulfill there dreams. The demand for space flights to take place will depend both on their price and on the details of the journey. There are many things being done to try and get commercial space flights up and running. In order to determine the commercial potential of space travel, research and testing is required both on the technological possibilities of reusable passenger-carrying spacecrafts and on the economics of operating a commercial service, including market research.

The development of the space industry has been unlike the progress of the aviation industry, especially in the roles played by the government and by private companies. Government departments, particularly the military services, play very important roles in the development of flight. With the government basically holding a monopoly on the space industry it is hard for any private companies to make any progress. For example, the Apollo Mission was a project which created a widespread popular perception that space activities should be performed by government organizations. This idea was widely accepted for several decades, although it is contrary to our country's fundamental ideology.

The government's objectives and modes of operation are very different from those of private companies. The government must be able to show to the public that...