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The Boeing Company and Space Adventures Ltd., based in Vienna, Va., aims to provide transportation services to destinations in low Earth orbit, providing transportation to the International Space Station and future platforms in space. The spacecraft, which can carry seven people, will be able to fly on multiple launch vehicles and will be operational by 2015. There is not yet a price, but NASA's Garver said it was "a fraction of the cost" of current missions.
"Commercialization can suddenly become an important and maybe leading part of our space exploration," said Ward Hanson of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, the nonpartisan economic policy research organization, which sponsored the conference. "We hope to bring engineers, economists and policy makers together . to think through the regulatory barriers that will help develop that sector."
This undated computer generated illustration provided by SpaceX shows a Dragon Crew spacecraft in Earth orbit showing solar panels in the process of deploying. (AP Photo/SpaceX)
The Mojave based Virgin Galactic takes passengers 50,000 feet up on its 1.5 hour flight aboard its "mother ship," then launches them into outer space at four times the speed of sound for four to five Omega Seamaster 300m Bond
"We are placing our bets on American industry," said Lori Garver, deputy administrator for NASA. on privately owned and operated rockets over the next three years."
"We are beginning the dialogue of the emerging space sector," said Stanford aeronautics professor G. Scott Hubbard, who conceived the Mars Pathfinder mission.
Another company, XCOR Aerospace, in Midland, Texas, offers a trip up to 100,000 feet the engines turn off after reaching Mac 3.5 then Omega Seamaster Professional 300m
STANFORD If all goes well, private entrepreneurs will launch a vibrant new space industry into lofty heights replacing the space shuttle, lowering the cost of reaching orbit, creating a space tourism industry, mining asteroids, and even exploring Mars.
Rather than operate its own shuttles, NASA would buy space for its astronauts on commercial "space taxis." NASA would shift its focus to unmanned exploration of the mysteries of deep outer space.
President Obama has proposed a sweeping upheaval of NASA's human spaceflight Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 2010
minutes before returning to Earth. The company is testing the system now. More than 500 people have already signed up, at $200,000 a seat.
Two major companies offer "space tourism."
Commercial space travel takes flight at Stanford
passengers coast for several minutes, before gliding back down. A test program starts this summer. It costs $95,000.
Bigelow Aerospace, in North Las Vegas, Nev., is assembling the solar system's first private space station: expandable modules that could hold 36 people. Paying customers would primarily be nations that do not have the funding or expertise to build their own station. A 30 day trip to a Bigelow station would cost about $25 million a person.
Participants described various efforts in the burgeoning commercial space industry:
The plan has been cheered by many so called "New Space" advocates, who assert that traditional NASA programs Omega Speedmaster Professional Replica are too big, too expensive and too slow. But major challenges remain.
Engineers, economists, future astronauts and top Obama Administration officials gathered at Stanford University on Friday at a "Space Entrepreneurship" conference, hoping to kindle a new vision for space through privatized spaceflight.
Companies are also stepping in to launch much smaller and lower flying satellites, capable of quickly measuring all the agricultural acreage on Earth, for instance. There also is a role for "food trucks" to serve these satellites.
Added FAA's George Nield: "In the next few years, we will see multiple companies on a regular and frequent basis completing suborbital human space flight."
program, first outlined in his 2011 budget request: canceling the current program that would send astronauts back to the oon and investing in commercial companies to provide transportation to orbit.
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