Space for Private Investment: Entrepreneurs of the Final Frontier

On May 25, 2012 Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (commonly referred to as “SpaceX”) made history, with its Dragon capsule becoming the first private spacecraft to dock with and supply the International Space Station (ISS).[i] Though the capsule was unmanned, the event marked an important milestone in human spaceflight. Since then, SpaceX has made two more flights to the ISS as part of its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA.[ii] On September 29, 2013, Orbital Sciences Corporation (“Orbital”) docked its Cygnus spacecraft with the ISS, becoming the second private company to do so.[iii] Like SpaceX, Orbital will make additional supply flights to the space station in connection with the CRS program.[iv] Despite accomplishing a similar task as a part of the same program, the two companies represent vastly different approaches. While Orbital represents a more traditional approach in the space industry, SpaceX provides a vision for … Read the rest