Written October 28, 2014
The Sky is the starting point some say. And the limit exists only in our mind. Karin Nilsdotter, CEO of Spaceport Sweden surely belongs to that category where she tries to challenge that limit every day.
The Space Race
The race to mankind’s ultimate destination started in the height of the cold war, when the former Soviet Union and the United States were going neck to neck, or a Sputnik to Apollo for a very long time. From the first dog in space to the first man on the moon, it was an exciting time for space. The generation in their current 40’s and 50’s grew up watching TV of men and women scaling great heights to reach mankind’s ultimate conquest.
And then it stopped…
It stopped getting people’s attention unless there was a tragedy like the Challenger or the Columbia disaster in 2003, which quite sadly undermines the feat of mankind. Apollo 13 movie with Tom Hanks had a great interview where he explains there is nothing regular about going to the moon.
Privatisation of tomorrow’s space
With the reduction in the space budgets especially in the United States, it seems like innovation is shifting onto the private sector. Elon Musk with Space X, XCOR, Virgin Galactic, United Launch Alliance with Boeing, amongst many others are taking what used to be the sole property of government into an unchartered territory.
While Elon Musk just bagged the NASA contract to build future NASA space ships, other companies are catching up. From the genius PR behind Mars One to Boeing that has been in the industry for so many years, the race for space is as hot as it used to be in the 60’s and 70’s, just that it promises to advance technology more than a chip on the shoulder for countries.
20 years to ma(s)rs market?
While its still early days, with commercial space flights not leaving too far beyond the Earth’s orbit (but promising zero gravity experience), it is not unrealistic to think that we are about 20 years away from private space market being open to more of the general public. It is not unrealistic to expect that our next vacation would be in space with our grand-kids (needless to say, you better be fit then).
Do not miss: the simulation project in Hawaii where 3 astronauts spend about 30 months (6 months journey to Mars, 6 months journey back and 500 days in the actual red planet). Read the coverage from New York Times.
Innovation catching up around the world
Funnily, India sent an unmanned space craft to Mars with a budget less than it took to make the movie Gravity, the only difference being one was real life, while the other was a fantastic movie. With other countries catching up, the innovation game is going to a different league with technology powering our advancement.
Love your Space?
For all those space fanatics, SIME Stockholm this year is going to be a treat. We have Karin Nilsdotter from Spaceport Sweden as one of the speakers where she is going to talk about how the space industry will fuel innovation in more industries, and how fun it is to do a strategy workshop with no gravity.
As always, get your ticket for SIME here, with 2 weeks to go, very few spots left!