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Blue Origin launched another space tourism rocket this morning from West Texas, becoming just the fourth human spaceflight by the company.
Mason Peck, professor of astronautical engineering at Cornell University and former NASA Chief Technologist, says these trips further democratize space.
Peck says:
“We’re beginning to see launches as routine, less and less worthy of livestreams and other fanfare – certainly less nail-biting than the moon shots of a previous generation. Space tourism reflects the greater confidence we have in today’s launch vehicles. Decades of public investments in the nation’s aerospace capabilities have matured these technologies, giving us this newfound confidence.
“Space Tourism strikes some as frivolous – rich people spending money they should be using for philanthropy. But it’s important to recognize the broader impact of increasing the cadence of access to space. More activity lowers the cost for everyone, further democratizing space. Doing so enables us to conduct more science, achieve national-security goals at lower cost, and accelerate commerce in space. To me, space science and space tourism are ‘and’ not ‘or’”.