The spacefaring nations of the world are competing with private companies to build an economy in orbit, colonize the moon and exploit resources from passing asteroids, but to reach other planets something more is needed.
That’s why NASA launched its Cube Quest competition to encourage students and amateur rocketeers to build very small satellites called cubesats to test new technology.
Amateur scientists are building small cubesats that can be powered by everything from water to the controversial EmDrive.
Competitors are starting to line up to build small EmDrive powered spacecraft to prove the “impossible warp drive” engine actually works.
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A Falcon 9 rocket exploded on its launch pad this week destroying a $200 million satellite and sending SpaceX stock plummeting, but the ripple affects might be felt through the entire space industry.
The destruction of the satellite means Facebook won’t be able to offer free internet to 14 countries in Africa, but the delay during the investigation might be worse.
Several companies were depending on SpaceX to launch their satellites into orbit and NASA was depending on the company to resupply the International Space Station.
The explosion has also spawned a number of alien conspiracy theories with several people claiming the rocket was destroyed by aliens.
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Sometimes it’s hard for the little guy to get into orbit and that’s where SpaceX comes in.
SpaceX is selling ride-sharing space on its Falcon rockets and next year they plan on lifting 20 different spacecraft into orbit above Earth.
The rise in the small satellite market is helping SpaceX finance their mission to Mars, but its also creating a cry for a global space traffic control system.
As the private space transportation industry continues to expand the area known as low Earth orbit is quickly filling up with satellites and other spacecraft.
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