New Growth Industry New Space
We live in interesting times. A world where technology moves deceptively fast. An ever increasing number of new companies investing in space tourism and future space based resource collection go online almost daily.
Today engineers and scientists envision and plan horizontal take off single stage to orbit space craft, once operational these concepts could cut the cost of reaching orbit by 99%, making way for a paradigm shift in the space industry as space becomes commercially viable and accessible. We already see private space industry taking on traditional government lead programs flying manned missions to low Earth orbit.
Space X, Virgin Galactic with spaceship 2, Blue Origin and a number of other new companies are racing full speed to be the first to commercialize space and fly tourists into space a £125 million investment, with plans for full orbital flights and hotels orbiting the moon. Today it is hard to keep up, blink, and we have moved on so fast to the next best and bright shiny thing has already passed you by. When VPACC founder Karl Bushby began building VPACC’s ideas the goal was to have a mature business in place ready for when humanity next left low Earth orbit in order to capture that interest that would follow, he believed we had time. This year founder and CEO of SpaceX announced plans for a private manned flight around the Moon. Sooner than anyone would have expected, we will continue to be surprised at the rapid pace of innovation and execution of our boldest dreams.
Very soon advances in technologies will dramatically lower the cost of achieving orbit, opening massive opportunities for future investment in space industry. These industries will require a competent and skilled workforce. These industries will understand the need to invest in this future work force. Within this nexus there is ample opportunities for partnerships and joint endeavors to achieve compatible goals.
Space is going to play an important role in our future one way or another.
“It’s not about showing them information anymore, it’s about them feeling the experience” - Professor Brian Cox
Upon our horizon looms the next chapters in our history: the advent of space tourism, the commercialization of space, and humanity's push beyond low Earth orbit. Should we fail to have capable and mature capture strategies in place, waiting to accept the firestorm of enthusiasm that will follow, then we deserve the harshest judgment history will arrange.
Inspired by real world events in human space exploration a child today willing to act on those desires, or a parent wishing to enroll children in worthy after-school programs, may struggle, what are the options? Unfortunately the fact is there is not much available that would allow youth, or the public, to pursue these interests. Perhaps computer games, movies or TV shows or, if you are lucky, a visit to space camp. Discouraged, the fires of inspiration and enthusiasm would dwindle fast and be lost.
There is little available to capture this potential enthusiasm; thus far we have failed to provide the infrastructure and required access for the next generation. We are not laying the paths for them to follow as we must.
Above we talked about how influential the US Apollo program had been in both inspiring generations and empowering the economy for decades. A 2009 survey found that fifty percent of the internationally renowned scientists who published in the prestigious journal Nature during the previous three years had been inspired by Apollo to become scientists; 89% of the respondents also agreed that human spaceflight inspires younger generations to study science.
How can we build upon, and expand these elements designed to inspire? With the predicted growth of commercial and space tourism and human space exploration beyond low Earth orbit, now is the time to create that robust strategy and its infrastructure to capture those hearts and minds. VPACC intends on being part of that development. As a small but growing team of committed citizens VPACC is looking to partner with industry, with whom we share collective goals, to help shape this strategic imperative. There are two principal mechanisms to a capture strategy; opportunities and interest derived from real world events leading to VPACC, and interest inspired in-situ, created due to exposure to VPACC.
VPACC’s capture strategy, in its most basic form, is to capture, nurture and harvest the interest of the public. The 'capture' component is the entertainment interface with the public, 'nurture' is the implementation of long term programs and as important as the ideas is our ability to 'harvest' the interest created allowing us to feed the STEAM pipeline. On the back end of our capture strategy are the ecosystems that dovetail with formal and informal education organizations across the country.