Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Privatization Of Rocket Lauches And Its Military Implications

Private Rockets Could Boost Military, Too
-- Danger Room/Wired Magazine

Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies just put the first privately developed rocket into orbit. That's not only a breakthrough for the space community. It has huge military consequences, too -- if the company can turn the one-time launch into a regular event.

The U.S. military relies on satellites to spy on enemies, relay orders and guide unmanned planes. But putting a satellite into orbit is an enormously expensive undertaking. "Humanity has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on space exploration in the past half century, and the numbers have not changed: about $10,000 a pound to put something in low Earth orbit," said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity, when speaking with Wired's Carl Hoffman. Only a few, government-backed companies offer these Maybach-priced services. Which means every aspect of the satellite business happens at a slow crawl. Satellites are built, oh-so-deliberately, to have zero defects -- and then take forever to replace, once the inevitable errors happen.

Read more ....

My Comment: The military subcontracts an enormous amount of its work ... why not launching its satellites into space.

No comments: