The private space business is outside the earth’s orbit

Hopes for the first ever financed by private funds landing on the moon collapsed last Thursday: the Israeli spacecraft “Genesis” was wrecked during the final reduction. However, despite this disappointment, everything indicates the beginning of a new stage of development of private space outside the earth’s orbit. At the head of the Israeli forces were standing non-profit organization SpaceIL, which was created to participate in the contest from 30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE — it is held to encourage the private exploration of the moon.

After several predlejanii the competition was closed without the announcement of the winners in January last year, but SpaceIL has continued to fulfill its mission independently.

Private companies want the moon

In the case of “Bereshit” everything was going smoothly until the main engine for deceleration reduction of the vehicle for a soft landing, not out of order at the last minute. The connection was lost and the lander, as expected, was wrecked, however, by crossing the important milestone: it became the first private spacecraft that reached the moon’s surface, albeit in parts.

Of course, it will not be the last of them. Former members of the XPRIZE — ispace, Astrobotic, PTScientists — all intend to visit the moon in the near future. Their long-term goals include the creation of a permanent service delivery to the moon and the extraction of ice that could provide water, oxygen or hydrogen fuel for other missions going deep into the Solar system.

All of this suggests that the private space industry is going through a significant shift — for the most part, she was focused on the companions; in recent times — at the conclusion of these satellites into orbit together with the advent of companies such as SpaceX.

Folding LunarXPRIZE last year was seen by many as a signal that the vision of the commercialization of space exploration was impractical and that we are far from a sci-Fi representation of corporations colonizing space, as in films like “Alien” and “total Recall”.

Of “Genesis” has proved many doubters wrong. The mission was funded by a nonprofit organization, but the fact that the cost of most projects under the leadership of the state is only $ 100 million can cause people to reconsider some assumptions on the economic viability of space exploration.

Admittedly, the final failure “Bereshit” stresses the risk of selection faster and cheaper missions. But that did not stop NASA to choose the nine companies that will compete for contracts to $ 2 billion, sending small experiments on the moon within the next decade.

The latest series of missions to asteroids may also be the beginning of the rapid development of asteroids. Japanese spacecraft “Hayabusa-2” launched several missiles at the asteroid, the Ryuga, to understand what is under the surface, and plans to return samples to Earth by the end of next year.

The first U.S. mission to collect and return samples of an asteroid to Earth — the OSIRIS-REx is currently exploring the surface of its target, asteroid Bennu, and plans to return 60 grams of rocks on the planet at the end of 2023.

The success of these missions would be the key for an industry that was in a difficult situation since, as NASA canceled the plan to drag an asteroid closer to Earth and to send his astronauts to collect samples. Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources were the two leading pioneers of this region, however, has faced hard times and was purchased. And Planetary Resources bought the company from the field of blockchain technology.

Part of the problem is the majority of commercial space operations beyond Earth orbit is that they are highly dependent on the government. Most companies want either to conduct experiments, or supply resources — fuel and water — for more ambitious missions, but the only customers of these services are currently the national space Agency.

This will change. SpaceX, which got rich in the first boom of commercial space, is now looking forward to implement more ambitious projects in deep space. Although plans for the colonization of Mars will probably be taken with suspicion, the company is rapidly building the infrastructure, making possible such a mission.

Just last week the company successfully completed the first commercial launch of its heavy rocket , the Falcon Heavy and successfully landed all three stages for reuse in future missions.

Currently, the commercial industry of deep space needs in the ecosystem that must support itself. Breakthroughs made “Bereshit” and Falcon Heavy last week is the first encouraging signs that the private sector is committed beyond the orbit.

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