This is a very good thing indeed, now here's to hoping they get prices down enough in the future for a retirement blow out trip to space.... Here's to hoping anyways.
Orbital ATK yesterday took a significant step towards getting its Antares lifter back in the air with a successful test fire of the rocket's revamped first stage propulsion system. The Anatares' new RD-181 main engines were subjected to a 30-second full-power burn on the pad at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport …
Arianespace (Over 50% of launches and nearly 60% of sats in orbit) is reducing prices due to SpaceX and others. Though some of these "entrepreneurs" are partially subsidised and all pricing to get business rather than be profitable.
The Russians have added a terminal at the European Spaceport and opened a new spaceport in Russia.
So yes there is competition for sat launches and to an extent for ISS supply. Overall Arianespace is still #1.
There will be a later consolidation stage were newcomers get bought out or go bust or both. I don't too much expect an Nokia / Apple /Android scenario in this industry.
Imagine an Apple launch vehicle. It would be very stylish. No panels, every component would be glued in place. It would probably work, and work well - but only with Apple-approved payloads. Everything else would be incompatible. Obviously it wouldn't be able to dock with the ISS, there would have to be a special Apple space station.
Not as far as I recall. I can remember going way out space whacko at that time, writing to the American and Russian embassies, which had their own space race to see who could deliver the most informational pamphlets to spotty UK teenagers. There was no trembling, there was a lot of excitement and hope. My room was papered with giant posters of both Russian and American successes. There was even room for some photos of rocket testing on the Isle of Wight and even of Blue Streak. What a shame that politicians have weak minds and weak knees.
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