Barnstorming the Suborbital Science Frontier

by Nancy Atkinson on February 23, 2012

Who will really open up the space frontier? Just like the early days of airplanes, when ‘barnstormers’ traveled the country selling rides to the public, commercial space companies see the market as ripe with excited people who want to hitch a ride. In this video, scientists Alan Stern and Dan Durda describe the coming era of suborbital spaceflight and how it will open up great possibilities for researchers, educators, and the public beginning, perhaps, later this year.

“In all the 50 years of human spaceflight, there have been barely 500 people who’ve been launched into space,” says Stern. “We’re talking about launching thousands if not tens of thousands of space tourists every year and then researchers.”

Anyone else besides me want to hitch a ride?


Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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