Space Enterprise: Beyond NASA

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This veteran analyst offers an appraisal of investment opportunities in a wide array of space-related activities. NASA will no longer be a major factor in the commercialization of space...There are a few futuristic projections, such as mining asteroids by robots and collecting antimatter, but the author is more concerned with the application of current or near-future high technology, i.e., products like ELVs (inexpensive expendable launch vehicles), and services with demonstrably large market potential, such as a remote sensing satellite network that could be subsribed to by every personal computer owner on earth. Choice The Challenger disaster, according to this provocative new book, signaled the end of NASA's domination of space--at least for commercial purposes. David P. Gump claims that after two decades of doldrums, the space industry is about to enter the new era of free enterprise. NASA's tediously slow pace, writes Gump, will be leapfrogged by dozens of private initiatives that will create a new orbital economy. Space Enterprise outlines the parameters for the development and growth of a new space industry fueled by the competitiveness of private enterprise. This historic shift from government to private leadership in space is evidenced in the many large and small companies already planning private space stations and battling to create their own launches at far lower costs than NASA's projects. The book begins with an engrossing account of the causes of the Challenger failure. Gump goes on to demonstrate how NASA's failure opened the door to space as the next economic frontier. On-orbit research labs will create new medicines, electronic crystals, and superconducting alloys. Solar power satellites, built with materials mined on the Moon, will provide low-cost nonpolluting electricity to cities on Earth. Space Enterprise is a map to the opportunities of the new space age.