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Private Spaceflight Shifting Into Fast Forward

Published by Robin on Fri Oct 7, 2005 3:17 pm
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By Leonard David, Senior Space Writer, Space.com

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — The next generation of human spaceflight is no longer the sole province of governments. Private spaceships transporting passengers first to design, construction and testing.

What’s more, there is an air of competition between rival camps of rocketeers. They foresee big business as patrons dig deep in their wallets to shoot for the sky.

Last year’s trio of suborbital flights by SpaceShipOne verified that the technological resources to build safe, affordable vehicles is at hand. Multiple spaceports spread around the country, and perhaps the world, may well handle outgoing and incoming spaceliners. Point-to-point suborbital space hops could permit super express delivery of payloads and passengers. And why not a five-star spa in Earth orbit?

Entrepreneurial rocketeers, government leaders, spaceport developers, economic and tourism experts took part in the First International Symposium on Personal Spaceflight, held here October 6 and presented by the X Prize Foundation and New Mexico State University (NMSU). The symposium was sponsored by Arianespace-USA.

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