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Private Sector Space Programs

5 Dec 2014, 12:49 UTC
Private Sector Space Programs
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Question: I am an undergrad student currently enrolled in an introductory astronomy class, and I’m doing research on space programs in the private sector versus federal sector. Would you mind sharing your thoughts on the topic?
Do you think private/commercial space programs have advantages over federal space programs?
Should the US government assign space exploration and programs to the private sector?
Do you think federal space programs hinder progress in any way?
Would you also mind if I quote you and list your credentials?
Thank you so much!
– Daniel

Answer: There are some tasks that private sector space programs can do in collaboration with federally-funded space exploration programs. For example, as we have seen recently, the private sector can provide some launch services. At this point I don’t see an advantage to commercial space programs, but as these companies are still relatively new, they may become more capable and efficient in the coming decade. This also goes for the assignment of space exploration programs to private sector companies. I do see private sector space exploration activities increasing over the coming decade, though, and that these companies will work with our federally-funded space program to provide more efficient ...

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