SpaceX launch is a game changer for Private Space companies1st Jun 2020
After a slow start with the original launch of the Crew Dragon being postponed, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket eventually took off on Saturday 30th May 2020. The 3 stage rocket carried two astronauts onboard the Crew Dragon capsule, destined eventually for the International Space Station.
This was a historical event as it was the first time a private company had sent people into space. Prior to the SpaceX launch the US government relied heavily on Russian technology to carry their astronauts into space.
What this now shows is how private companies are not only able to provide some of the space services previously managed by government-led organisations and international collaborations, but they can likely to do it more efficiently and more cost-effective.
Space activity is no longer subject to the complex workings of governments and the often overcomplicated bureaucracy that entails. It also benefits the governments greatly as they unburden themselves of huge risks and costs associated with space activities.
Private enterprises can be more lean, agile and creative when not subject to the limitations of government and government-led organisations. This is where this all starts to become a huge game changer.
The UK are following suit, with several companies now involved in the creation of a private space sector. And from where we are right now, it’s looking like they are doing so at a rate that may have been much slower if hindered by the ins and outs of government.
Of course there’s no sign of the UK planning to send astronauts into space, but are instead focussed on sending small satellites into orbit. This, of course, makes a lot of sense as there is a much higher demand for satellites as there is for transporting astronauts.
Although once the industry is established in the UK and all the infrastructure in place, then there will be nothing to stop the country from exploring the transportation of astronauts.
For now we watch both UK and USA hurtle head first into their private space ambitions and tick off achievement after achievement. These are exciting times for the global space industry.