Do you know who makes a rocket and a space ship? Many people think that NASA makes them. Indeed, NASA ended the operation of the Space Shuttles in 2011 and started to consign hauling cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) to private companies. In other words, space FedEx was already born. Today’s story is about space as a brand-new market that rarely appears and companies that try to enter the frontier.
According to Economist, the Dragon space cargo of Space X that Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal, founded successfully carried cargo to the ISS in March 2013. Space X develops, launches and operates the Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon space cargo. It had the 12-mission, $1.6 billion contract with NASA to haul cargo to the ISS. In this September, Orbital Sciences, the competitor of Space X, succeeded to carry cargo to the ISS with its Cygnus space cargo. The competition in the space cargo market already started. Though launching price of Space X’s rocket is the lowest in the market, Elon Musk said in the interview with Economist that Space X drives to lower the price by developing the new reusable rocket, Grasshopper. Space was used to be the competition place between the USA and the USSR and be governed by countries. This article describes that space is changing into the market among private companies though the market is limited only hauling cargo now.
Source: Dragon space cargo (Garber, 2013)
Now we can find the interesting fact about a space business. Elon Musk of PayPal who founded Space X, Richard Branson of Virgin Group who founded Virgin Galactic, a space travel company, and Jeffrey Bezos of Amazon who founded Blue Origin, a space travel company, try to enjoy swimming in the outer space at this time once they enjoyed swimming in the blue ocean. Are their challenges hobbies of the rich people? I think that their challenges are strategically reasonable decisions because of the brand-new market, low competitions, and big technical barriers of rocket and space engineering. Do you think that there is your business market only on Earth?
Economist. (2013, September 29). The private space business swans and falcons. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2013/09/private-space-business
Economist. (2013, October 5). Private space flight swans and falcons. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21587196-two-more-steps-towards-free-enterprise-orbit-swans-and-falcons
Garber, M. (2013, March 1). SpaceX's dragon capsule encountered a problem in orbit. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/03/spacexs-dragon-capsule-encountered-a-problem-in-orbit/273636/