Virgin Galactic has opened the first commercial space port. This could well be the future of space travel: Driven by private entrepreneurship. Right now the idea is still crazy but it makes perfect sense: If you make space travel available to the public, people will be interested in booking a really exclusive holiday or an adventure, depending on how they see it.
When more and more people become interested, the marginal costs per unit (i.e. a launch) drop, making the operation more profitable. Profits can be invested in research, creating cheaper and safer technologies.
Basically, it will be the same development we saw when the first powered planes took to the air in 1903. We all know what happened next.
So now, Space Port America has opened in New Mexico.
Right now, Virgin Galactic is “only” offering sub-orbital flights but they already have 450 customers on the waiting list and the NASA is also interested in their services, I think this is quite a credential.
Let’s see what leaps commercial space flight will make in the next 10-20 years. Virgin Galactic is not the only competitor in the market, but definitely the one packing the most punch. I will watch the developments very closely.
In 2001 I jokingly said something along the lines of “Oh well, when I retire, I want a little cottage on Mars”. I guess I still have some years in me… Who knows what things will look like by 2040.