Commercialization policy and subsidies

In this week’s issue of The Space Review I’ve written up a more detailed account of last week’s House Science Committee space subcommittee hearing about commercial space, with a focus on both the regulatory issues Rutan raised as well as how export controls are affecting these ventures. In the same issue Sam Dinkin proposes a large subsidy to promote commercial space transportation, in much the same manner as airmail subsidies in the early days of aviation. Given the magnitude of his proposed subsidy—$15 billion a year for ten years—I don’t think it would go very far in Congress, but the article does suggest some interesting possibilities if the federal government decided to prime the space access pump.

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