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The space transport industry is being taken over by private hands

The world is in turmoil following the success of the Dragon mission by the SpaceX team, for the first time a private spacecraft of a commercial company carried cargo to the International Space Station and successfully returned to Earth

SpaceX has successfully demonstrated the capability of the Dragon spacecraft. PR photo: SpaceX
SpaceX has successfully demonstrated the capability of the Dragon spacecraft. PR photo: SpaceX

The Space Exploration Technologies company known as SpaceX entered a "crack" in human history, when NASA does not have a shuttle fleet and does not want to rely on a foreign country (Russia/Japan/Europe) to use American money and increase the technological gap with the USA.

This is an excellent time for a private (American) company to develop civilian technology with the support of NASA and government funding. The contracts forCargo delivery to the space station, with a value reaching about 3.5 billion dollars, allow the government to rein in expenses while transferring the risks to external parties, and on the other hand, private entities are exposed to huge budgets that are used to develop cutting-edge technologies that will shape humanity in future generations.

Experience shows that private companies will find more diverse uses for space technologies that will be developed later, just as we did with GPS technology, data communication using satellites, and also some lesser known technologies.

To reach the sky you have to aim for the stars

The launch of the private Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket, both made by SpaceX, on June 22, 2012. Photo: from NASA TV
The launch of the private Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket, both made by SpaceX, on June 22, 2012. Photo: from NASA TV

The main task of all parties was and remains the lowering of launch costs. It seems that after the company overcame the labor cycles and proved that Her technology works She can proceed to the next steps. Today it has launchers (Falcon missiles) and a cargo spacecraft (Dragon) which will later be used for manned flights.

But the vision of the company's owners right now is to reach Mars(!) nothing less and nothing more. When they are already working on regular flights to the moon.

Deep pockets from realizing technological ventures and government contracts worth billions of dollars allow the company's owners to dream about the future but let's not forget that the current contracts end in 2015 and the International Space Station is expected to end its service in 2020. Also, the company has a narrow opportunity between Retiring the ferries in 2010 For the start of service of the Constellation program in the second half of the decade.

Even if SpaceX succeeds in taking over the low-orbit space flight market, lowers transportation costs to the International Space Station, and even offers cheaper and safer services than the Russian spacecraft, they will not be able to compete with the American government for flights to the moon and Mars. First, a private company does not have the budget to do this and secondly, there is not enough money to return the investment.

It's nice to dream of the day when we can jump on the moon or ski Olympus on Mars, but in a historical perspective our grandchildren will also dream the same dreams (and I really hope I'm wrong). In my opinion, apart from a few millionaires who can afford these pleasures, the vision is not intended for the general public.

On the other hand, I am very optimistic about the development of the space tourism industry in low Earth orbit and the commercialization of technologies for civilian markets. It turns out that there is a great demand for space tourism and already today the world's rich are reserving places for space flights costing millions of dollars. There are initiatives to establish space hotels where the rich astronauts will enjoy a space experience such as gourmet food andToilets in zero gravity. However, most of the population will benefit from the space industry indirectly. Spillover of technologies to the civilian market will improve daily services and lower production costs with the help of more advanced and accurate devices. All we have left to do is start success

40 תגובות

  1. 14 hours?! Be careful and protect yourself from blood-eating clots. If you can arrange for yourself temporary parking in Glasgow, you will get a free room.

  2. Jealousy about what? About being crammed for 14 hours in a plane full of screaming little ones? If I lived in Scotland I would be in Israel every two weeks.

  3. we will wait for you The coffee is already boiling. Next week I will be in Israel.

  4. Dear Yuval.

    Usually people get personal in an academic discussion because they have nothing to say about the essence of the discussion itself.

    (Not you of course - other people).

    So here is my personal opinion on your words:

    You are 100 percent correct in all your comments b

    Apart from the following marginal details:

    1. "You are just playing with numbers without understanding where they come from"

    2. "The occupation you have chosen is purely academic and irrelevant to any reality"

    3. "Your assumptions are fundamentally wrong."

    4. As someone who only a year ago did not know what CMBR was

    Apart from that, everything is true, or at least cannot be refuted, because all your words are subjective and are the expression of your private opinion, which is your legal right even though the same law does not require you to back up your words with any fact. (according to the Yuval-Maxwell model).

    Come on, let's not go back to being chilvas. If you have something important to say - I will gladly listen to you.

  5. Israel Shapira,
    I have much more than a green concept. The reason I don't enter the discussion is that I don't have the strength to face it (... and here I might stumble between the keys and go to personal lines).
    Your claim about the reason for the color of the house is wrong (it has been hidden by the current tenant for almost 4 years), and as a joke it is not one of the successful ones (...and here again I do not add, for the above reason)

  6. The Israeli deer…
    I apologize for getting down to personal lines in my criticism. I believe that the message has been received and internalized and therefore I will not add to it. In the meantime, I am following things from afar in the sincere hope that Zvi will succeed where our friend R. H. has given up. If and when I feel the need to intervene, rest assured that I will.

  7. jubilee.
    Well, if it fails - then it fails. there's nothing to do.

    But I still believe that you have no green idea what I'm talking about, and I'm definitely ready to shut my big, stupid mouth, put away my worn and tired pens, go completely into listening mode and hear the maestro's learned explanations.

    Maybe you should switch to freedom and start defining the problem. No is the answer - I am quite convinced that it will be difficult for you or anyone to solve. (Luckily for me, I have no doubt that Zvi studied and understands physics, so maybe salvation will come from him). At this stage I will expect you to do the minimum:

    Then maybe we will see who is the one who is playing with numbers without understanding where they come from.

    I'm waiting.

    Still waiting.


    Maybe it's coming?

    Here, here..

    I'm waiting.

  8. Are you ready to help me write my story? "Yuval Haikin and the image problem of unreliability".
    And seriously, you're just playing with numbers without understanding where they come from. I am no longer talking about the fact that the occupation you have chosen is purely academic and irrelevant to any reality. I say your assumptions are fundamentally wrong. My private problem with you is that you are too much of a "bulldozer" for my taste. Writes and writes without allowing the reader to catch his breath. If you would invest in reading comments, even if only a small fraction of the energy you produce in writing, I would certainly be happy to sit down with you to discuss everything from a thousand to a note to above and beyond.
    Don't you understand, God forbid, that I despise you and/or your intellect. The exact opposite is true. I'm jealous of you. RH gives you full credit and I'll be after him tomorrow. For example, as someone who only a year ago did not know what CMBR was and today plays it with ten fingers, your name is engraved in gold at the top of the marble plaque placed in the main hall of my hall of fame. But, as mentioned, the power of suffering failed (and thanks to David* who guided me in scoring).

  9. My father must have really exposed my true face and the amount of nonsense I produce, this is the only explanation I can find for every second of my comments being moderated.

    SAFKAN, it's not me, it's Pink Floyd. For claims, please come to Waters and Gilmore. I'm with you 100 percent, our moon on the other hand was only on the 41st.

    Yuval, instead of saying "recycling for the u-know-how-many times a used story about Jack and Jill and the mystery of the shortening of time" say "I have no green idea what Israel is talking about". That way you will sound more reliable.

  10. SAFKAN, thank you. Of course you are right. I didn't go into this level of detail because I wanted to stay popular, but to no avail. Y.S. returned from his walk on the water and did not find it appropriate to continue the study of the lunar cycle (instead he recycles for the u-know-how-many times a used story about Jack and Jill and the mystery of the shortening of time ) 🙁

  11. Israel

    Regarding viewing the moon from the earth ("the dark side", etc.).

    Instead of saying "the dark side of the moon" it is better to say the hidden side of the moon. (since the hidden side of the moon is also lit by the sun, therefore it is not dark).

    The description of the moon's movement and observations of it are more complicated than you said. What you said is just a first approximation. In fact, the hidden side of the moon is only 41 percent of its surface (if the moon's movement was only according to the first approximation, the hidden side would be 50 percent of the moon's surface). Better approximations to the movement of the moon and its observations are mentioned in English Wikipedia under the heading LUNAR LIBRATION

    I didn't have the patience to read the details of LUNAR LIBRATION, from a superficial reading it has three components (hope I'm not far wrong):
    in 1. The rotation of the moon around its axis is accompanied by precession relative to its axis of rotation.
    In 2. The moon's orbit is not a circle but an ellipse.
    in 3. The "hidden" side of the moon changes depending on the observation point from Earth (the edge of the hidden side "moves" somewhat depending on the observation point).

  12. jubilee

    YES I DO? No, no, this is an oath, not a wedding.

    I meant that traditionally all presidents were white, simply a matter of security, camouflage colors. Dear Yuval Elementary.

    When Obama and Michelle arrived at the White House, the Bushes made an overlap with them "This is the White House, there are lawns, a pool, 22 rooms to clean... when do you start?".

  13. I wanted to add something else and fix it, = as much as there is acceleration and communication = > from this they will come and discover the technologies that will allow going to the stars at reasonable prices, and maybe even without any problems at all! (Imagine generating energy from nothing)!

  14. Well, first of all, my heart broke again after reading this article.... I guess in my generation we won't be able to go on space tourism (maybe yes) in any case the savings of my last twenty years won't be enough for that..

    A little encouragement: so what will happen? Well, as more people are exposed to science and as the Internet becomes more widespread in the world and scientists exchange information among themselves about discoveries via the Internet - something that once took a lot of time is happening in real time .... the Internet - its speed is increasing and so is the possibility to transmit a lot of information (HD and more) .... something Another encourager: the more people there are in the world (population growth), the more power there is to raise matters such as discovering resources and obtaining them....

    The richest people in the world (TOP) are already looking for more excitement in their lives and therefore support the matter of going into space and to the stars (in all kinds of ways)

    And the most gratifying thing: due to all these data and due to the fact that the interest is in acceleration and not in progress, there is a chance that by 2020 there will be a situation of space tourism and perhaps even settlement on stars for the less wealthy...

    If we, with our knowledge, will encourage more people to open their heads to science, we have advanced the matter on one level!
    I write about science and technology wherever I can! And hope that more people will always open a discussion on the subject!

    Now the Internet at a speed of 100 megabytes in Israel, what will happen in 2015?

    Anyway …. Let's hope it will be good!

  15. Yes! I do

    You're wrong. The length of the moon's day is not exactly the same as the time it orbits the earth. This is because in the period of time between birth and birth (a lunar day) the moon has done more than the full moon. The lunar day according to the sun lasts, indeed, a Hebrew month (average) which is about 29 earth days and half a day. However, according to Haaretz, the lunar day (the time it takes for the Earth to complete a rotation around itself from the point of view of an observer standing on the Moon) lasts slightly less, approximately 27.23 days.
    Apologies in retrospect for the unclear wording. Have a nice cruise and watch out for the scumbags

  16. jubilee
    Lately it's not just me you're getting into trouble with.

    We'll shorten your suffering: the length of the white moon's day is exactly the same as the time it goes around the Sun - a common phenomenon in moons, although not in all of them.

    This is why the dark side is always so dark.

    We are going to the lake. When I come back I want an answer to the second part of the question: Why is the White House always so white?

    Hint: It has to do with the inauguration of each new president.

  17. Israel! As usual, I'm messing with you. Let's say I come up with a number (say, 27.9), so is the answer to your puzzle also a number (55.8, in this case)?

  18. jubilee
    The answer to your question about the duration of the lunar day is half the answer to the riddle.

  19. And just Chuba, because time has spoiled:
    Over the course of 19 years and more Goh and more Adzet, which are between 6938 and 6940 days (depending on Februarys), the moon completes 235 revolutions. Feel the urge to jump right up and say "Aha! 29.5319 days", and not her. Another number is requested.

  20. Israel Shapira!
    With you I always have difficulty understanding
    Even now, when you ask "why?"
    Do you mean the factor? Or do you mean the reason?

  21. Nice but no. The moon rotates on its axis, it has a day, it also rotates around the Earth, but its B side is a wilderness.
    It also revolves on its axis, it has a day, it also revolves around the sun, and it has a soul.

    What is the difference? Why doesn't God have a dark side that never sees the sun?

  22. jubilee,
    Any element that does not rotate around its axis and moves in a straight line (if there are any) will contain a side that does not see the Earth.

  23. ♫ Ye moon, ye moon what have you done?
    Go out and think about the rotation axes of the moon: around itself, around the earth, around the sun, around the center of the galaxy, around the center of the galaxy cluster...
    As above with the planet Earth.
    The rotation of the moon around itself coincides with its rotation around the earth. The rotation of the Earth around itself is not coordinated with the moon. So who revolves around more axes of rotation? Who is more central?

  24. Wait, the moon doesn't spin on its axis, does it? Always the same side facing the Earth...

  25. Who orbits whom, the moon the earth or the earth the moon? From the point of view of an observer standing on the moon, the earth is in a stationary orbit just as communication cables are in stationary orbits around the earth.

    And who owns the zebra? And who drinks water? And in which house does the Norwegian live?
    snob! Have you played Sherlock yet?

  26. More trivia:

    Why is the dark side of the moon always so dark? (After all, the moon rotates on its axis and around the earth, so how is it that you never see its other side?).

    And why is the White House always so white?

  27. Hello R.H.,
    Pink Floyd talk about the "dark side of the moon" while I mean the side of the moon that is always hidden from the earth.
    Theoretically, I can't think of any other places like that. I thought of a cave under the earth's soil, but this is not it

  28. Yuval,

    Theoretically there could be more such places like the one you and Pink Floyd are aiming for.

  29. Someone, something!
    Theoretically, from anywhere in the universe you can see anywhere else. But there is one place in the universe from which you will never be able to see the Earth...
    It's pretty trivial, but if you like, take it as a puzzle.

  30. What is the launch cost of this private capsule compared to the launch cost of the space shuttle?

  31. I don't know how realistic it is to establish a colony in space. The conditions on the moon are very extreme.

    And even when talking about things like this, you should go back to the basics. And basically there is no such thing as X's capital. The only thing that belongs to X is his body, all other things "belong to him" by virtue of a certain social agreement that can change in a moment. Agreements are not a law of nature.

  32. Question for accountants:
    Is the combined capital of a small number of billionaires, say Zuckerberg, Gates, Brin and maybe a few more, enough to establish a colony on our moon?

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