Capitalism in space? Russia’s first private space tourism company has been forced to close before it even launched its first rocket because of the obstacles placed before by Russia’s government.
Kosmokurs’ operations will cease due to “insurmountable difficulties” in coordinating with local authorities on the cosmodrome project as well as the company’s “inability to obtain needed regulatory documents from the Defense Ministry” for the design of a suborbital tourist rocket, its CEO Pavel Pushkin told RIA Novosti.
However, the government-run Roscosmos, which controls the rest of Russia’s aerospace industry, has graciously announced it will hire Kosmokurs’ fifty employees.
Do you see a pattern? I do. Kosmokurs was cutting into Roscosmos’s territory. That could not be tolerated, and so the government moved to sabotage it. Now that it is dead, the government can absorb it to try to build its rocket and make money using it.
This kind of mob rule by the Russian government is why that country’s space industry is failing to compete with the new commercial industry coming out of the U.S. and elsewhere. It does not tolerate free competition, only top-down control by the government. The result is that while Russia might eventually fly its own space tourism rockets, it will have only one, and it will likely not be as efficient or as competitive. The only cost advantage it will likely have is Russia’s low wages.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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