Sunday, November 01, 2009
The companies participating in this year's Grumman Lunar Landing Challenge are quite impressive, and watching this progress fueled by such tiny prizes ($1 million will barely buy you a house in some cities) is pretty exciting. Masten Space Systems has now qualified for $1 million for this flight:
Private industry finding its legs in space development is exciting for one simple reason: cost. Every time the cost to spend X number of kilograms to space goes down a notch that's that many more companies, countries, institutions and people that can then afford to send something up to space themselves that were not able to do so before, and missions that are given a certain amount of budget to work with are then able to spend less on the flight and more on the rest of it, meaning more scientific return for the same price. Masten Space Systems is focused on eventually being able to provide access to suborbital space for $250 per kg of payload, and even an interesting offer where soda can-sized (350g) payloads can be flown for $99, which is perfect for schools.