Everyone is interested in the unknown and now, Space is getting closer, more promising and more attainable.
- President Obama signed the Asteroid Resource Law
This legislation allows for private ownership of Asteroid and space resources. Why would we want to own them? Over the past 15 years, large populations of asteroids that are very close to Earth have been discovered. Okay, so what? Well, they are resource-rich in fuels like hydrogen and oxygen, construction materials like nickel, iron and cobalt and platinum group metals like platinum, palladium and osmium. These asteroids are worth trillions of dollars and now private companies can mine, own and sell materials taken off of them – plus they are a lot closer than the moon. This is the new gold rush!
- Bezos & Musk’s Race for Reusable Spaceships
Building reusable rockets is the key to low-cost space travel. The day before Thanksgiving, Jeff Bezos’ company – Blue Origin launched their New Shepard rocket into space and landed it vertically back on Earth, with the ability to refuel and launch again. However, SpaceX has already demonstrated this, reaching near orbital velocities. New Shepard only made it to sub-orbitals with a maximum velocity of Mach 3. Even though this race to space is a bit of a frenzy, there is a growing commitment of private capital by billionaires to open the space frontier.
- We Found Water on Mars
NASA recently announced that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has provided the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars. They identified hydrated minerals with patterns unique to flowing water with an imaging spectrometer. I am hoping that in our next mission to Mars in 2020, we will discover that life exists there now.
Elon Musk’s primary stated purpose in creating SpaceX is to help colonize Mars, to “make humanity a multi-planetary species.” More specifically, two years ago he announced more concrete objectives to provide a roundtrip price of $500,000 per person to Mars within the next 15 years.
The rate of this progress is accelerating. With growing access to large sums of private risk capital, and powerful exponential technologies, there is little that we can’t try. This is the age of incredible progress, where ideas once considered science fiction are now becoming science fact. What can you see happening in the next 5, 10 or 20 years?