DailyDirt: More Commercial Spaceships On The Way
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The end of the space shuttle program is coming up pretty soon, but there are still a few plans to keep humans flying in space. It's actually quite interesting to see commercial space programs getting off the ground, but just getting to the edge of the Earth's atmosphere (or a little bit beyond) isn't that awe-inspiring anymore. Nevertheless, commercial ventures are trying to pick up the slack in space exploration, and here are a few links on just some of the projects ahead.
- The cancelled Ares I rocket could be turned into a commercial launch system that could take 44,500 pounds into low Earth orbit for just $180 million. This re-purposed rocket is planned for testing in 2013, if it can get some commercial space subsidies from NASA along the way. [url]
- The space shuttle program might not be completely mothballed if a NASA contractor can privately fly the Atlantis and Endeavour twice a year for under $1.5 billion. It's a shame that the shuttle fleet will likely end up rusting in a museum, but the shuttles are pretty expensive to maintain. (And they don't exactly have the best safety record....) [url]
- A robotic mission to the moon funded by SpaceX is under contract to launch as soon as December 2013. This first mission will rely on additional funding such as $24 million from Google's Lunar X-Prize, Florida's $2 million launch bonus, and a $10 million NASA contract. [url]
- NASA's Kennedy Space Center is preparing to support more commercial launches as the shuttle program winds down. NASA has built more than a few nice rocket facilities, but the return on its investments might be a bit hard to find. [url]
- To discover more links on space exploration, check out what's floating around in StumbleUpon universe. [url]