August 25, 2017

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas, during the Gemini V flight. 1965. Credit: NASA / Creative Commons

SpaceX landed a rocket on a drone ship. Blue Origin wants to take tourists into space by 2018. In 2015, more money was invested in space start-ups than in the previous 15 years combined. Right now, it seems like space travel is finally moving away from being completely dominated by NASA and other government agencies. But what exactly does that mean, both for the future of space travel and the business of space? I-Hub producer Marc Sollinger went to MIT’s New Space Age conference to find out.

Three Takeaways 

  • Though it may seem out of this world, space is critical for much of our modern lives. Communications, smartphones, GPS... so much depends on satellites and rockets.
  • Some companies are focused on a “terrestrial first” model. That means researching and developing technologies for space and then using that research for technology here on Earth. Red Works, which works on Martian building tech, is one example.
  • There are challenges in the space industry. The startup costs of aerospace companies are orders of magnitude higher than software businesses. And, simply put, space is difficult and the margins of error are razor-thin.

More reading 

innovation hub, Kara Miller, WGBH, Space, SpaceX, pri

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