Private Space Companies Work with Governments Changing Economics of Space Exploration

United Launch Alliance ULA is a Boeing-Lockheed Martin Space Launch Ops Partnership United Launch Alliance is a partnership between Boeing and Lockheed-Martin using Atlas and Delta expendable launch vehicles carrying payloads to space ranging from weather, 

Boeing Aerospace Operations for Space Exploration telecommunications and national security satellites that protect and improve life on Earth, to deep space and interplanetary exploration missions that further our knowledge of the universe.

Lockheed Martin Aerospace Operations for Space Exploration ULA’s costs will have to come down as SpaceX continues to innovate and drive down launch costs by recovering first stage rockets for further use. A typical launch costs $400 million but Space has squeezed it down to about $60 million and ULA will have to follow to suit to stay in the game. 

Atlas V MUOS-5 Rocket Cam

Atlas V WorldView-4 Rocket Cam

Elon Musk and SpaceXSpaceX, founded by visionary industrialist Elon Musk, is rapidly changing the economics of private and public space with successful launches and safe recovery landings of the rocket systems so they can be re-used. It cost $400-million for NASA to launch, it cost SpaceX about $60-million, according to Robert Zimmerman of the famous Behind the Black website, and with recovery of launch vehicles that cost can go down to $40-million. After a terrific recovery of CRS-8, see video below, on September 1 SpaceX had a launch pad explosion with satellites on board that has proved major setback.

September 1, 2016 SpaceX Launch Pad Explosion

Video of Historic CRS-8 Recovery and Press Conference with Elon Musk    

Spaceflight Services

Spaceflight Industries (Spaceflight), is a next-generation space products and services company that is transforming how satellites are built, launched and operated. Through its wholly owned subsidiaries Spaceflight Systems and Spaceflight Services, Spaceflight is streamlining the process and reducing the cost to access and operate in space.

Orbital-Sciences-Corporation-ATK-Antares-rocket-Commercial-Resupply-Services-NASA-program-Wallops-Flight-Facility-image-credit-Mark-Usciak-SpaceFlight-Insider-647x450As a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, Orbital ATK designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation-related systems to customers around the world both as a prime contractor and as a merchant supplier. Our main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; satellites and associated components and services; composite aerospace structures; tactical missiles, subsystems and defense electronics; and precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs more than 12,000 people in 20 states across the U.S. and several international locations.

Mission Preview for OA-5 Mission, Launch October 16, 2016

Orbital ATK Launches to ISS from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is also making a bid in the private space game, but from a tourist perspective. So far they have setback but the journey continues in the quest to make Space Tourism a reality. Their efforts have been put behind schedule because of accidents and launch pad explosions, but it appears Branson is moving forward despite the odds. Virgin is much further behind the other private companies in the space game.