Over the course of the next 20 years, the way we access space will undergo great changes. The space tourism market will blossom, as dozens of small companies introduce their passengers to the wonders of suborbital space travel. The majority of these companies will use simple spaceplanes that take off and land under their own power, rather than ballistic missiles or large motherships. There will be exceptions, of course. Different strategies will be tried, and different technologies will be tested. There will be successes and failures, both in terms of engineering and business strategy. A few key character traits, discussed below, will be shared by those companies who are successful in the long term. These include holding the proper vision, developing their new market, sustaining the effort, and applying lessons learned. Creativity and collaboration will play vital roles as well, because of the unique technical and financial challenges of space travel.
One of the most...
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