Dear NewSpace Watch Readers,
As of September 30th, I am retiring from my position as the Managing Editor for NewSpace Watch. After six years, it’s time to focus on other pursuits and interests. Allison Rocket will take up the reins of posting news from the world of entrepreneurial spaceflight.
It’s been great fun following the ever-expanding range of NewSpace activities and, with the help of my NSG colleagues, passing along to you the news items and resources gathered about these events and developments. From first stage booster landings becoming routine to the orbiting of hundreds of SmallSats, there has been solid, sometimes amazing, advances across the gamut of space technologies.
On the other hand, as in 2012, we are still waiting to see paying passengers going for suborbital and orbital rides to space. Still waiting for the prices of getting to orbit to drop to the low hundreds of dollars per kilogram range. Waiting still for aging satellites to be renewed by commercial servicing spacecraft. Waiting still for privately developed rovers to start scurring across the lunar service. We expected to see such things happening long before now.
Yet there are in fact companies on the threshold of accomplishing all of these things. And much more.
So while this has been a time of tremendous but uneven progress, I believe that, barring a depression or other catastrophe, it is really just the start of a period of tumultuous acceleration in the development of space. Perhaps most importantly, it won’t just be hardware that will change but how people think about space. The Apollo model of hyper-expensive missions involving a handful of government workers who leave behind nothing but footprints and throwaway hardware remains to this day the paradigm for human spaceflight for a broad swath of the public and for most in the space industry as well. This belief, locked in mental concrete, must eventually crumble and succumb to the realization that affordable spaceflight has become available and that the building of space infrastructure that allows large numbers of people to live and work in space permanently is really happening.
It’s going to be great fun to follow the exciting NewSpace developments ahead but it will also be fun for me not to have to worry about getting the news about them posted ASAP at NSW!
My thanks go to Allison and Richard and all the others whom I’ve worked with at NSG. And my thanks in particular to the NSG/NSW subscribers for following my posting here.
– Clark S. Lindsey