Before the year is out, SpaceX will likely have conducted the first orbital demonstration of the Dragon capsule, which is intended to transport cargo, and ultimately humans, to the International Space Station (ISS). Next year, Orbital Sciences is expected to launch its cargo vessel, Cygnus. By 2014, two more spacecraft, the Dream Chaser and CST-100 are on track to have maiden voyages, launched by the Sierra Nevada Corporation and Boeing, respectively. And even more spacecraft are being developed by companies such as Blue Origin and PlanetSpace, as well as suborbital vehicles being built by Virgin Galactic, XCOR, and others.
On the ground, there are seven federal and eight nonfederal launch sites licensed by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration; most of the latter are new and owned by a combination of private enterprise and state and local governments. Additional applications for even more spaceports are likely.
When these developments were reviewed at last week’s American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space 2010 conference, some attendees began asking: is the space industry building too much capacity?
Full Story: Technology Review: Are We Heading for a Space Bubble?