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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Privatization of the Space Business
Space travel is moving from being a government-led initiative, toward being driven by private businesses. NASA's role is shifting.

One example of this shift is SATOP. SATOP is a service of NASA designed to transfer know-how from NASA to the private sector.

Small businesses in need of engineering help may be eligible to receive up to 40 hours of free technical assistance from SATOP. Here is what the SATOP website says:
"The Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program (SATOP) strives to transfer the knowledge and technology of the space program to small businesses. Any type of small business is encouraged to submit a technical challenge to SATOP. If SATOP is able to assist, the small business is provided with up to 40 hours of FREE technical assistance from a scientist or engineer in the Space Program."
But SATOP is simply one example of this new direction.

We wrote about this privatization trend a year ago, in a piece called The Entrepreneurization of Space.

Business ventures are popping up around the fledgling business of space. Now there will even be a conference revolving around the business of space and new opportunities on the horizon, as noted in a Florida Today article: "Central to this year's conference will be new business opportunities that will be created by the new direction NASA is taking and a new space tourism industry that is on the verge of becoming reality."

It will take years before we start to see regular space tourism travel, of course. But that does not change the momentous nature of the shift we are living through.
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