Commercial Space Exploration: Opportunities for Research and Education
Research Hall room 163
Summers abstract: During the past few years we have witnessed an exponentially growing interest in the commercialization of space. With a foundation of new technologies, dramatically lower costs, and prospects for frequent (even daily) manned space flights, several commercial organizations are developing the next generation of reusable space vehicles that will disrupt the prevailing “big mission” paradigm of space exploration. The opportunities for research and education are far-reaching. This nest generation of space vehicles will provide new platforms for research in areas including space medicine, microgravity studies, atmospheric science, remote sensing, space physics, solar physics, astrophysics, among many others. The educational opportunities are equally intriguing. Every university in the world can have its own space program. For the amount of money a group of students can earn with a car wash, they can fly a space experiment and get results back in time for a semester final report. In this talk I will discuss this new industry and a few of the many possibilities for research and education.