It feels like I’ve been on a ranty/pessimistic spree recently [wasted money, government pain-in-the-butts, societal stupidity etc. etc.] which really isn’t helping anything.
Lets get back on track towards excitement with two space news stories that aren’t particularly earthshattering (or spaceshattering) on the face of it, but have awesome implications for the future:
Sea Launch is getting back on its feet (keels?) after the failed launch of Intelsat 27. The viability of a private company that launches things into space off of a boat is exciting not just because of the technology. In addition to the whole ‘private space flight’ thing, it also opens the door for launches that aren’t subject to the whims of government deciding whether or not a launch site is allowable.
In other space-paradigm-shifting-news, the success of the Phonesats isn’t exactly a breaking story, but is worth noting again. People are quick to realize how small, cheap satellites using off-the-shelf rather than custom rad hardened components break the mold and will lower the costs of many missions. However, there isn’t a lot of discussion of the broader awesome point – that developments in space technology don’t necessarily need to have been developed for space.
Until very recently, many terrestrial applications benefited from advances in space tech, but not the other way around. We’ve realized that this doesn’t need to be the case, and I’m eager to see what happens when space technology can benefit from Moore’s Law and the efforts of large tech/materials companies.