11 of the biggest innovations shaping the future of spaceflight today
- Private companies have started to take the lead in humankind's march into space.
- Companies like SpaceX, Boeing, and Virgin Galactic are shaping the future of spaceflight with exciting new innovations.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Most who grew up during the days of the space race were promised a future with moon colonies, orbital space stations, and routine travel to the stars. But that future has always been elusive, since it has long depended upon shifting Congressional priorities and timid funding - currently, NASA's budget is about $21 billion, or 0.49% of the federal budget.
In recent years, however, private industry has started to take the lead in humankind's march into space.
Unfortunately, some innovative companies have recently crashed back to earth. Two different startups hoping to become pioneers in the asteroid mining industry - Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries - recently pivoted away from their ambitious space mining plans.
But for every failure, there are a handful of innovators still moving forward, from SpaceX, which recently unveiled its latest prototype of Starship, a rocket system design to populate Mars, to Axiom and its plans to deploy a commercial space station.
Here are the 11 most exciting innovations shaping the future of spaceflight today.
SpaceX has made reusable rockets not just practical, but routine.
Virgin Galactic is preparing to fly passengers to space for 20 minutes of weightlessness more than 50 miles high.
Boeing has spent a decade developing the CST-100 Starliner, the next generation crew capsule that may take civilian tourists to the space station.
SpaceX is building the most powerful rocket in history.
Axiom is planning to launch a private space station to replace the ISS.
Orion Span hopes to let people spend their honeymoon in low earth orbit on a luxury space station.
Bigelow is planning to build an inflatable space station — and it's already deployed an inflatable modules on the ISS.
The Gateway Foundation wants to build an enormous rotating space station like the one in '2001: A Space Odyssey.'
The Aerospace Corporation has proposed the equivalent of shipping containers for launching small satellites.
Moon Express is on target to send a lunar lander to the moon in 2020.
SpaceX may use Starship to rocket passengers anywhere on Earth in about a half hour.
- Startup funding hits a 5-year low in July-September quarter
- Mobile phone exports from India cross Rs 45,000 cr in April-Aug period, Apple leads
- Twinkle, Akshay pose with UK PM Rishi Sunak in London
- Troubles mount for Indian airlines, even in good times
- Malayalam survival drama '2018:Everyone is a Hero' is India's official entry to Oscars