NewSpace Movement

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Members of the NewSpace Movement are people who believe the terms "aerospace company" and "contractor working for NASA, ESA, etc." should not be synonymous. In other words, they're working toward a future where people and cargo can get into space without the aid of government funding, or at least with substantially less of it. If all goes well, NewSpace can look forward to being considered the tried-and-tested "old school" of space exploration and exploitation in about twenty years.

Inexplicably, despite their tendency to criticize "the status-quo centrally planned and exclusive U.S. government space program," the U.S. government space program is determined to make friends with these people. Here are seven American companies that NASA administrator Charles Bolden singled out as exemplary examples of the new commercial spaceflight industry at a press conference on February 2, 2010 :

Company name Location of HQ Person in charge of stuff Other folks of interest
Blue Origin Kent, Washington Jeff Bezos, Founder Robert Millman, General Counsel
SpaceX Hawthorne, California Elon Musk Ken Bowersox, Vice President for Astronaut Safety
Boeing Company (Space Exploration Division) Houston, Texas Brewster Shaw, Vice President and General Manager
Paragon Space Development Corporation Tucson, Arizona Jane Poynter, President and Chair
Sierra Nevada Corporation Sparks, Nevada Fatih Ozmen, CEO Eren Ozmen, President and CFO

Mark Sirangelo, VP and Chair, SNC Space Systems Board

United Launch Alliance Denver, Colorado Michael Gass, President and Chief Executive
Orbital Sciences Corporation Dulles, Virginia David Thompson, Chairman and CEO

Of this group, SpaceX and Orbital Sciences are the two funded participants in NASA's new Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program (which specifically required them to get some funding from people other than NASA).

Other companies of interest include Bigelow Aerospace, which, unlike many of the companies listed above, wants to build its own space stations rather than just servicing the ISS, and plans to build it out of inflatable modules. Speaking of balloons, JP Aerospace has the perhaps not so crazy idea of using airships to get into low Earth orbit (or at least it's not quite as far-out as Liftport Group's plan to run a space elevator cable from Earth to geosynchronous orbit). Then of course there's Burt Rutan's company, Scaled Composites, the first company to win the Ansari X Prize and prove that a non-government-funded manned spacecraft is not an oxymoron. Scaled is now working with Virgin Galactic to turn this historic achievement into a similarly historic space tourism venture. Two of the earliest African American owned commercial space companies include Solar System Express and Phezu

On the suborbital side, in addition to Blue Origin and Scaled/Virgin, there are XCor, Masten, and Armadillo.

These companies and more come together at the annual NewSpace Conference hosted by the Space Frontier Foundation.

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