10 Most Innovative Private Space Companies In The World | The Future of Space Exploration
The space industry is the next big thing. If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the earth from outer space, there's a chance you're not alone. Space exploration enthusiasts are more than willing to invest in the idea of commercial space travel. Some experts predict that this industry will be worth $2 trillion by as early as 2020. This is largely because of the private space companies. They’re the ones building and investing in these projects. As the space race heats up, private companies are leading the charge to develop private-sector aerospace.
These 10 companies are the most innovative, the most ambitious, and the most possible to change the world. Each of these companies is working on cutting-edge space technologies that could dramatically change space travel. Here are 10 of the world's most innovative private space companies. Here are 10 of the most innovative private space companies in the world. They are SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, Blue Origin, Bigelow Aerospace, SpaceDev, Virgin Galactic, Boeing, Orion Span, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.
- Virgin Galactic
- Blue Origin
- Bigelow Aerospace
- Orbital Sciences
- Lockheed Martin
- Northrop Grumman
- Orion Span
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) is an American aerospace company that was founded by Elon Musk in 2002. Musk founded this company to reduce space transportation costs and accelerate the colonization of Mars. It has achieved many milestones, including the first privately funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit on Falcon 1 in 2008, the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft. first vertical take-off and vertical propulsive landing for an orbital rocket on Falcon 9 in 2015, first reuse of an orbital rocket on Falcon 9 in 2017. SpaceX is one of the most innovative companies in the world. They were the first private company to send astronauts to orbit and to the International Space Station on SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 in 2020.
Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft are the most cost-effective vehicles for launch vehicles available in the world. With a low launch cost, SpaceX has been able to provide launches daily, with this cost largely subsidized by the government and commercial launch contracts. SpaceX also launched its Falcon Heavy Rocket in February 2018 at Kennedy Space Center, which could soon see cheaper and reusable space launchers.
Also, SpaceX launched Starlink. Starlink is a new satellite constellation that is the company's second generation of internet satellites. The constellation is designed to provide global broadband coverage to users on Earth with the same quality of internet access as those in urban areas.
Virgin Galactic is one of the most successful private spaceflight companies that was founded by English entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson. Its headquarter lies in Mojave, California, USA. Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo flies above the Mojave Desert in California during a test flight on March 9, 2015. SpaceShipTwo has logged more than 900 successful flights since the company began conducting test flights in 2004. The vehicle has made eight flights since it broke free of the planet's atmosphere, and it remains in the air roughly 100,000 feet above the Earth's surface. The Virgin Galactic will conduct flights that go beyond the 100,000-foot mark. Recently, Virgin Galactic launched its first fully crewed flight of its SpaceShipTwo space plane a.k.a. Unity 22 Spaceflight with Richard Branson and other five crew members on June 11, 2021.
Blue Origin was founded by Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos. Blue Origin's New Shepard vehicle is the first American reusable manned spacecraft. The New Shepard rocket can land vertically and does not require the assistance of a large booster rocket. In 2018, Blue Origin wants to take the giant leap into commercial space exploration. Blue Origin’s work on its New Shepard vehicle is helping to show that humans can innovatively travel to space and be taken safely back down to Earth. One of Blue Origin’s most interesting projects to date was on Dec. 21, 2016.
Blue Origin successfully tested the booster that launches the New Shepard rocket, which was used on the first stage of the Falcon Heavy rocket in February 2017. Recently, on July 20, Blue Origin launched its first crewed flight along with Jeff Bezos and the other three passengers of the New Shepard spacecraft.
Boeing is one of the most successful companies in the aerospace industry. Its specialty is the manufacture of civilian aircraft for the US military. Boeing's most innovative project is the design of the X-57 Maxwell, which is expected to fly by 2020. Its project TAEUS, which is designed to study radiation effects on the human body, has recently been approved by the U.S Air Force. 8. Aurora Flight Sciences Aurora Flight Sciences, headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, is also a top 10 technology company in the world.
Aurora works on space program projects for both military and civilians. Its most innovative project is the development of the X-57 Maxwell. In addition, Boeing has several subsidiaries that specialize in military space and defense.
Bigelow Aerospace is another private space company. This big, theoretical space station would be comprised of up to four capsules, each of which would be capable of holding up to six crew members at a time. While the technology required to do this is years away, it’s hoped that once constructed, the station would be used to extend human spaceflight to the Moon and provide emergency support for deep space exploration efforts. Because of this, the company is committed to offering space habitats to the highest bidder. Those interested in bidding for a 10-person module currently available through the company can do so, but the bids will go towards the research and development of Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) hardware.
Orbital Sciences Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, Inc. (OCTS) is a commercial launch service provider. The company was founded in 1986 and specializes in small satellites, rockets, and capsules. It has headquarters in Dulles, VA, and offices in Dulles, VA, Louisville, KY, Washington, DC, Durham, NC, Houston, TX, New Bern, NC, Wilmington, DE, Huntsville, AL, and Reading, PA. Orbital Sciences has contracts with NASA and the US Air Force. In 2016, Orbital Sciences acquired Alliant Techsystems’s space systems division, Orbital ATK, human and robotic space transportation, and defense electronics provider.
SpaceDeve is part of Sierra Nevada Corporation. The goal of SpaceDev is to colonize the Moon, Mars, and beyond. We envision an ambitious industry-transforming space exploration and utilizing the benefits of renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, and affordable and accessible space technology. SpaceDev recently completed its first successful orbital test flight of the DragonFly. The test flight was on May 14, 2013, and landed safely back on earth in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This first orbital flight validated the Dragonfly’s reentry and landing technologies and would enable SpaceDev to perform low-altitude orbit tests for Dragonfly as part of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services.
Lockheed Martin is the largest defense contractor on earth, manufacturing everything from aeronautics to satellites to missiles to body armor and avionics. Northrop Grumman Northrop Grumman is a major player in space, research and development, unmanned systems, and cybersecurity. Walden Easton in New Mexico built a privately funded launch site in 2008. In 2011, they partnered with Blue Origin. Walden Easton Aerospace has offered commercial launches since January 2012. As of today, there have been a total of 6 launches, and the third one is due to take place in March 2018. This includes all three stages of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Pegasus XL rocket as well as the X37-V, Taurus XL and Antares. The payload will be small a CubeSat from CubeSat Launch or M-Sat.
NASA announced its contract with Northrop Grumman to provide launch, range, and orbital flight operations systems. In the state of Florida, Northrop Grumman is currently located in Melbourne at Launch Complex 41. Northrop Grumman signed its first contract with NASA in 1969. Today, the company is the largest prime contractor for NASA, with long-term contracts totaling more than $30 billion. The company also provided the space shuttle program's external tank and solid rocket boosters, and most recently, Boeing was awarded a contract to build new Space Launch System boosters for the future Orion spacecraft.
International Space Station Orion Span is developing an orbital luxury hotel (and submarine) that will host future astronauts on lengthy voyages to space. The Aurora Station is an ultraluxury capsule designed to house a crew of four and provide expedition-level amenities. In total, the orbital habitation will have seven separate private multi-person cabins, the largest of which will be outfitted with an indoor-outdoor hot tub. Aurora Station has been designed with exploration, research, and education in mind, with an emphasis on sustainability and education. Currently, the company is building a simulation space facility that offers “the closest approximation of weightlessness” for students and astronauts.
Since last year, spacefaring startups and private companies have been popping up all over the world, showcasing how the economy will function beyond Earth. However, the wealth of the ultrawealthy is being developed even more, and this is one market where there are no obstacles.
These last 10 companies show that there is real money to be made in space now and a growing number of entrepreneurs are getting in the game. There are only a handful of players in the space launch industry and each of them has a different take on the industry and what the future looks like.
Each of these 10 companies also has its own unique technologies that can be either innovative or an evolution in the industry. After years of rocket failures, SpaceX finally has one with their Falcon 9 rocket that now has the industry by the throat, and the company has several other, in development, rockets. SpaceX has also been developing their own rocket engine to be used on their next-generation rocket and will utilize their own communications satellites for their low earth orbit fleet.
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