NASA Administrator Charles Bolden claims that the secret to get humans to the moon lies in private businesses. He spoke about the need for a market in low-Earth orbit where NASA is not the only consumer.
This can possibly include maintaining the American side of the International Space Station, which acts as a unique microgravity lab and a testing ground for human trips into deep space. Bolden does not think the work of exclusive firms will end there.
NASA and Private Businesses Can Benefit From Each Other
In reference to the commercial space market, Bolden said, that NASA looks forward to new ideas regarding exactly what to do next, and how the agency will keep that market humming. Their main focus lies in getting to Mars for now, and private businesses and international partners will take a leading role in bringing those efforts to fruition.
NASA Has its Eyes Set on the Red Planet
Bolden was not the only speaker at SpaceCom going over the demand for industrial business to take control of more duties on the station, or to produce brand-new orbiting research laboratories to replace it. NASA is devoted to maintaining its part of the terminal via 2024, however as Bolden said, the company wants to dedicate its sources to more pressing objectives, like sending out humans to Mars. The effort as it currently stands is astoundingly small.
NanoRacks allows customers to carry out small experiments to the station, and Made In Space, a company that sent out the initial 3D printer right into microgravity, can use its device for commercial use. Companies with even more resources can also pay to have scientific payloads released on top of office rockets, but there is currently no option to put an experiment in space for a longer amount of time. Bolden noted that commercial spaceflight companies will be having a bigger role in NASA’s human spaceflight program compared to ever before when personal firms start supplying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station as a component of the Commercial Crew Program.
What of Initiatives like Mars One?
With NASA stacking up cash for manned missions again, companies like Mars One are greatly affected. NASA has made promotions out of its efforts to get to Mars through films like The Martian and grants given to underserved communities to scout for astronauts while companies like Mars One downgrade.
With the decline of Mars One, there is a possibility that their focus even changes so that they’re more concentrated on Lunar missions. While still an exciting feat, it feels like a downgrade. Hopefully, Mars One can be one of the private businesses to join the efforts.