September 20

NASA has introduced a plan to pay private aerospace companies $1.6 billion to ferry U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS).  A variety of new commercial aerospace companies are expected to compete for the job of providing “turnkey” launch, flight, return, maintenance, and ground-support operations.

The commercialization of space will be an exciting era.  The retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet may provide a short-term space-transportation gap, but — in the long run — the opportunities and new doors that will open will be amazing.

ISS graphic courtesy of NASA