The U.S. space program on the threshold of historic change


26/03/2012

The first flight of the private spacecraft to the International Space Station in April, will signal the increasing role of the private sector and all of the expanding opportunities in the field of space tourism.

The company SpaceX, run by PayPal founder Elon Musk, managed to make his name forever in the annals of history in December 2010 as the first private company to deliver spacecraft into orbit and back.

The demonstration flight to the ISS, during which will be delivered 400 kilograms of dried food products, is scheduled for next month. This will be a major test of the strength of the private sector, the outcome of which depends the future of the U.S. space program, which came to the threshold of a new era following the closure of the space shuttle.

"We all know about the historical changes that have taken place in the U.S. space program with sending retired space shuttle," - said George Nield of the FAA USA.

"While no one disputes that the launch would be the end of an era, as it will mark the beginning of what I am sure will be a brilliant future of our nation’s space program."

"Based on the analysis of the market, we expect that the industry will grow to $ 1 billion over the next 10 years," - he said about the increasing role of the commercial sector in space.

The launch, which will be implemented from Cape Canaveral (Florida) assignment is on April 30.

NASA used until July 2011 shuttles to deliver astronauts to the ISS, now seeks to delegate this task to the private sector. To this end, the agency has already allocated $ 270 million to companies like SpaceX, Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Blue Origin.

In the budget submitted to Congress in February, President Barack Obama has requested 829 million dollars for the development of commercial flights to the ISS to end U.S. dependence on Russia for delivery of astronauts and resupply.

Currently, the U.S. has to pay for shipping Russian cosmonauts aboard Soyuz to the ISS, whose mission has been extended until 2020.

The company Virgin Galactic, has already started to sell tickets for space travel at a price of 200,000 dollars per seat. U.S. actor Ashton Kutcher had become their client 500. The company has raised $ 60 million.

The price of the trip to space in which to send a private Russian tourists on ships, ranged from 45 to 150 million dollars.

Original: Physorg


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