Spaceships have long since captured the imagination of the people. The Idea that you could fly around the galaxy going to new and strange lands resonates strongly with people’s desire for adventure.
Yet it seems like for the past three decades space travel has stagnated. Perhaps the tragic explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle dampened our enthusiasm, but it’s time to get back on the horse. Just recently, SpaceX has proven that reusable rockets are possible, and with them the cosmos opens to us.
The Technological S-Curve
This topic probably deserves its own post, as I’ll be mentioning it a LOT, but I’ll go over it in relation to rockets right here.
As the first cost effective reusable rocket, the Falcon 9 has moved us into a new phase of space travel. I believe that it’s the final push Rocketry needed to see exponential growth. All technology follows a s-curve where it starts its life developing slowly. Then once it reaches a certain level of maturity it becomes useful to the general public, and Liftoff! It develops at an explosive rate. I believe that the Falcon 9 has started to launch us up that curve.
Competition Sparks Innovation
SpaceX has repeatedly Stressed the cost effectiveness of their reusable rockets. With the price of a launch reduced to the cost of fuel, the price plummets while launch capability skyrockets. This is way more important than just filling the coffers of SpaceX.
The competition currently can’t compete, and they HAVE TO COMPETE.
Not Competing is not an option, and this goes for everyone, other US companies, and especially other foreign companies. This is what brings such rapid development.
Space agencies can’t rest on their laurels anymore. If they don’t develop their own reusable rockets, they’ll be rendered obsolete. They need to innovate, and do so fast, because they’re already behind, and SpaceX is moving at a blistering pace.
To The Victor Goes The Spoils
It’s another Space race in a very real sense. This time though, there’s a lot more up for grabs than a flag on the moon. Space stations, Moon bases, Mars bases, massive satellite constellations and all the resources of the solar system!
Space is up for grabs and nobody wants to be last!
SpaceX has already started on an incredibly ambitious project to broadcast internet to the world. Project Starlink would be ludicrous without reusable rockets, but with them it has the potential to be a communication network that dwarfs industry giants like AT&T, and Verizon.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been very clear about his desire to spark competition, and boy do I believe he’s going to get it. The pace of innovation in the aerospace division is going to start cranking up in the years to come leading to a brighter future for us all.
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