The Future of Spaceflight: Part One

We are, it seems, entering into a new era of space travel and exploration: private, commercial spaceflight. Space travel was always the domain of governments: mainly the United States and the Russians, but others are now joining the club. For this series of articles, I thought we would take a look at where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going, both near-term and a little bit longer out.

The Past

Everyone hopefully knows about the spaceflight programs the United States has had in the past: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and the Shuttle. Our spaceflight programs seemed to soar to ever higher and higher heights and most thought we would have gone right from the moon on to Mars. But that’s not what happened. Humans have not left low Earth orbit since December of 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission to the moon. Continue reading