When the first child is born outside the earth, it will be a milestone like the first step of humanity outside Africa. This national birth would usher in a multi-planetary civilization for the human species. For the first half century of the cosmic age, only governments introduced satellites and humans into Earth orbit no more.
Hundreds of private aerospace companies are building a new industry that already has annual revenue of $300 billion. I am a professor of astronomy who has written a book and an article about the future of man in space. Today, all activity in space is concentrated on Earth. But I predict that people will start living in space in about 30 years – and very soon, the first off-earth baby will be born.
Space began as a duality as the United States and the Soviet Union favored dominance in a geopolitical contest with superior military forces. When NASA landed on the moon in 1969, its budget shrunk by three factors. Russia is no longer an economic superpower and its presence in space is a pale shadow of the program that put the first satellite and the first person into orbit. The new baby in the block is China After the late start, the Chinese space program has driven by budgets that have recently grown faster than their economy.
China is building a space station, the country is investigating the moon and Mars, and it is planning a lunar base. In the current trajectory, China will soon be an influential space power. However, the most interesting advances are private space companies that are marketing space for tourism and entertainment. Elon Musk’s goal for SpaceX is to carry 100 people together on the moon, Mars and beyond, although he is interested in timelines in public presentations. Jeff Bezos’organization, Blue Origins, has also worked to colonize the solar system. There doubts about this national grandeur plan, but keep in mind that these are the richest people in the world. Governments will continue to launch rockets, but it will be safe to say that the future of private space flight came in 2016 when, for the first time, commercially all countries around the world surpassed combined launches.