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A new space race?
As I watch the news and surf the net and view all the amature rocketry sites and see enthusiast make small (and sometimes large) leaps towards breaking the "space barrier", I can't help but wonder what will happen when we see our first amature astronaut make his or hers first step into orbit.
For instance, after this occurs, (and I believe it will). Will this astronaut enjoy the same "hero status" as say, Alan B. Shepard received when he made the first American sub-orbital flight?
Will the already established space agencies embrace this new venture with open arms? Or, will they rally to restrict it by saying we should leave it to the "professionals"?
When the question will no longer be "can we do it"? But now the question will be, who can do it better, faster, safer and cheaper?
Will investers start seeing this as a new buisness venture for a space travel industry and begin throwing millions (if not billions) into it? If so, how will it be organized and who will run it?
Will we eventually need a type of orbital rescue and law enforcement agency? Who will be delegated the responsibility? NASA? ESA? The Coast Guard? The DOT? The U.N. ?
Again, these are just questions that run through my mind when I see amature rocketeers create new and cost effective ways to put their rockets higher and faster.
What are your thoughts?
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Mercury Redstone 1