Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Space: The Commercial Frontier

Several companies are preparing to tap what they see as a promising market in suborbital rides to space. Blue Origin is the quietest of these, building a vehicle with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' investment money and spending almost nothing on tooting its own horn before it has an actual working spaceship. (Good for them). The company is, though, reaching out to offer suborbital microgravity rides for scientific projects. Blue Origin has invited contact from scientific and student organizations seeking space on projected Research and Education Missions (REM), which will be flown in addition to the passenger missions. Leonard David, whose excellent article collects what we know about this very private firm's plans, reports that REMs might be available as early as 2011.

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