Top 5: Aerospace for 2013
2012 was an eventful year for the aerospace industry. SpaceX, lead by the talented Elon Musk, conducted its first resupply mission to the International Space Station. Half-a-world away, the Chinese space program launched its first manned mission. And in Washington State, a group of entrepreneurs lead by Google Co-Founder Larry Paige set out to mine asteroids while the long awaited Boeing Dreamliners finally rolled off production lines. The best part is, however; that the immense progress that was made last year is not going to end just because its no longer 2012. Here are our thoughts and predictions for the year to come.
1. SpaceX Successfully Launches the “Falcon Heavy”
2. Voyager 2 Leaves the Solar System
3. Planetary Resources Launch Their First LEO Telescope
One of the many 2012 Space Tech Startups, Planetary Resources plans to mine asteroids. But first it has to find them. That’s where LEO telescopes come in. Launched into low earth orbit (leo), the aptly named telescope will be free to scan the skies for asteroids with obscuring effects of earth’s atmosphere. With a goal to make the telescope available to the private citizen, Planetary Resources could have a Kickstarter or even a Prototype up and running by the end of 2013.
4. Virgin Galactic Offers its First Suborbital Space Flights to the General Public
As of 2013, Virgin Galactic has successfully conducted test 23 suborbital flights in its “space plane” SpaceShipTwo. However, aside from a select few politicians and other important figures, few people non-professionals have actually flown on the planes. Tickets, starting at $200,000 have been on sale since 2009. There already a robust wait list full of celebrities like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt just waiting for their own chance to make history. The first flight was slated for 2012, but never appeared, and it is assumed that it had been pushed back until 2013.