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The rise of the commercialization of space


  • As the Space Shuttle era drew to a close, space agencies began thinking about the next great leap.

  • More space agencies entered the fray, accompanied by the commercial industry. 

  • This led to new vehicles and propulsion technology to take astronauts back to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

Welcome back to our four-part series about the past, present, and future of propulsion technology. In our preview segments, we looked at the early history of rockets and how the Soviet and American space programs developed the means to send the first satellites and men and women to space. 

We then examined how these space programs stepped up their efforts during the “Race to the Moon” and settled in for long-term stays in orbit during the Space Shuttle Era. Today, we will examine the developments that took place towards the end of the 20th century that would lead to the current state of space exploration and the technology that makes it possible.



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