Welcome to my blog. The aerospace and defense sector worldwide is in the midst of rapid change from an oligopoly traditionally dominated by a few humongous suppliers providing products and services to large government buyers in a marketplace with very high barriers to entry to a more balanced democratic milieu where an increasing number of commercial providers sell goods and services to a plethora of customers both within and outside of the government. Government and military organizations will continue to be a presence and attractive market for industrial concerns and lower tier suppliers, but over time an increasingly space-based economy will take root as commercial companies establish a presence, expanding from near-Earth, to cislunar, and — before this century is out– interplanetary space.
To the chagrin of space enthusiasts such as myself, for a half-century since the Apollo 17 mission to the Moon ended in December of 1972, there has been a hiatus in manned space activities outside of low Earth orbit,. A number of factors contributed to this decline: the difficulty and cost of maintaining humans in space, public apathy after the United States bested the Soviet Union in the Cold War space race to land men on the Moon, competing priorities for government funding, and so on. So here we sit, still chained to our planet instead of reaching for the stars.
But a change is soon coming. Women, not just men, will soon journey outside the Earth’s environs. Technological breakthroughs will lessen the barriers to spaceflight. Cheaper access to space enabled by launch vehicle reusability as typified by the recovery of SpaceX’s Falcon vehicles is a portent of things to come. In my books I have predicted that a breakthrough is long overdue that will render rocket engine technology and rocket science as the world knows it obsolete. Newtonian physics where you have to expel–and in fact waste– huge masses of propellants past rocket nozzles is just not very efficient. Not to mention having to throw away most of the launch vehicle after the first flight, as has heretofore been standard practice when launching into space.
In future posts, I promise I will keep you updated and in the know as to when and how we will soon obsolesce rockets and really take Neal Armstrong’s “one giant leap for Mankind” into space.