The largest growth in the Aerospace industry has occurred in the last 13 years. Spending in the industry almost doubled in the U.S. from 2005 to 2014. Now the Aerospace industry has almost doubled in value 2014 according to Aerospace – Defense stocks and company portfolios. This is outstanding growth considering that the first human to fly into space was almost 60 years ago!
In recent years, it seems that there has been a revival to Aerospace companies both private and public as well as a federal space and defense entities. SpaceX alone has doubled its’ missions planned from 2017 to 2018. Production can range from missile engineering, to various launch vehicles. Most Aerospace companies bid on rights to build a certain aircraft or launch vehicle with the purpose of providing a service. The company that wins the bid is paid by a buyer or (group of buyers) who desire the service that the craft can provide.
It’s good to know that private companies are investing more money into space. Hopefully, it will mean better opportunities to do some space travel in the near future! However, it’s very important to understand a few things when it comes to why companies are investing in Aerospace since much of the technology which is produced has an impact to virtually everyone on planet earth!
Most people don’t understand how much technology runs on them. If the first thing that you think of is your satellite TV dish, you’re not wrong. However, they can do a lot more than just provide TV connection.
Satellites are uses for establishing Geographical Information Systems, Communication Systems and other data services. They’re used both for gathering intelligence for Federal Space and Defense Agencies as well as commercial service providers.
They are especially important with the amount of GPS information that is being used for automated driving and even simple application purposes. Most applications from weather service to social media rely on satellites to find your exact location. Not to mention that data outside of cell service is provided by virtual satellite networks. In other words, everyone uses them. In fact, trilateration is a technical term which means that your cell phone requires 3 satellites just to find the location of your phone!
Resources in Space
The Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 was passed to essentially allow citizens of the U.S. to commercially “explore and exploit space resources”. This would include water and minerals, but would not extend to any biologically living beings. The act limits the Federal Aviation Administration from enforcing certain flight laws until 2025. This would essentially encourage companies or individuals to mine resources from space.
This is coupled tightly with research. The act would not only help to further research into space, but would also increase our understanding of how certain elements which are more commonly found in space. NASA, for example is partnering with 10 companies to start space resource collection. This could lead to advances in medicine, civil engineering and more. One of the things that NASA intends to explore is extraterrestrial soils and carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere.
I know that this is the part that you’ve been waiting for, but don’t get your hopes up. There are currently several forms of space tourism including orbital, suborbital and lunar space tourism. Companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic have all publicly made commitments to achieving space tourism. Unfortunately, none of them are taking applicants at the moment.
From 2001-2009, the Russian Space Agency performed 8 different space tourist missions for 7 tourists. The price for any one of these flights was in the range of $20-40 million and some of those flights included contracts for certain research activity. To date, they are the only entity to have achieved suborbital space tourism. If you’re worried about missing out, don’t be alarmed. Tourism space travel may not be what you think of in Star Wars, but we are currently on the cutting edge of the space industry. Tourism will continue to be a growing part of the industry, so don’t take it off of your bucket list.