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"Unpopular Science": Will it Impact Space Commerce?

31 Jul 2009, 23:34 UTC
"Unpopular Science": Will it Impact Space Commerce?
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"Cargo & Human Spaceships" Source: SpaceX

A fascinating but somewhat ominous article titled “Unpopular Science” has just been published. It includes an overview of the reasons for the ongoing decline of professional science journalism in the U.S. This is an important topic, but what relevance does it have to space commerce?
One answer to this question, according to the authors, is that the origins of the space enterprise played a significant role in the expansion of science journalism. Another answer in my view is that space commerce will increasingly involve support for the space research and development infrastructure that is driven by seeking answers to high-priority science questions. Space infrastructure elements that can support science include; launch systems, satellites, robotic systems, telecommunication systems, space data systems, GPS, and ground support systems. In the near-future space commerce will likely support top-level science milestones utilizing these elements to accomplish; research payload transport and orbital insertion, robotic rover transport to planets, satellite monitoring of the environment, planets, moons and asteroids, science data capture and distribution to ground systems and more.
If major science-related challenges associated with space (Earth climate changes, discovery of off-Earth resources and perhaps life, disaster mitigation, development of space-based solar ...

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