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January 15th, 2013, 13:42
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Actually things are looking REALLY GOOD right now. There are over 100 active NASA missions (yeah, mostly robotics, but STILL) and there are bunches of private companies working on manned spacecraft several of them with no government involvement what-so-ever.
No government involvement except for large tax credits and various governments still being the most prolific purchasers of private launch payload space.

To be clear, I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I'm just pointing out that we haven't reached close to a point where private space exploration is profitable without companies either making use of significant tax subsidization and/or supplementing space-tourism with lucrative government contracts for delivering payloads to orbit. For the time being at least, the expense and risk involved in private space ventures necessitates some easing of those factors if we want to spur further expansion of private capabilities in this sector.

What we can't do is prematurely presume the private sector is ready to be cut loose from government support mechanisms nor can we allow those mechanisms to grow and continue beyond their usefulness. I would not consider it to be acceptable for naissant and promising private space ventures to wither on the vine nor for them to become like the petrol-chemical industry and continue receiving aid well beyond its necessity.
Last edited by jhwisner; January 15th, 2013 at 15:03.
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