I’m assuming that there’re more people than me who are very excited by the developments in private spaceflight. First off, there’s the steady progress of Virgin Galactic, and now private companies are getting ready to become the big fish in rocket terms as well.
The Californian SpaceX company says it plans to launch the most powerful rocket since the Apollo era in 2013.
The Falcon 9-Heavy is a beefed up version of the vehicle the firm will soon use to send a robotic cargo ship to the space station.
The new rocket should be capable of putting more than 53 tonnes (117,000lb) of payload in a low-Earth orbit – more than twice that of the space shuttle.
Obviously, you’d expect some delays, price and performance fluctuations and the like. But SpaceX doesn’t seem to have anything like as many of these little derailments as, say, NASA does. What with them having to work for their money and provide deliverables or face angry shareholders. So it’ll be interesting to see how they get on.
Then, once they’ve opened up space to civilians, they can get work on my damn flying car. And/or Jetpack. I want my Jetsons future, dammit, and I was promised it’d have happened by now…