Given all the hype and hoopla surrounding many new commercial space ventures these days, it’s easy to overlook the fact that there are people out there not convinced that these companies, or the industry in general, are that real. A case in point: on the web site for Earth & Sky, a science radio show, space historian David S. F. Portree takes a highly critical look at NewSpace (or “Newspace”, without the intercapped “S”, as he writes it.) Portree is very skeptical that commercial human spaceflight will take off (so to speak), “mainly because piloted spaceflight is expensive and difficult” He brings up some legitimate concerns, such as what will happen to the industry in the wake of a fatal accident, as well as the dangers of extending analogies to early aviation too far. He also argues that NewSpace wants NASA to “get out of the way” while also asking it for public funding, which is something of a corruption of what most NewSpace companies are saying and asking for. He also argues that NewSpace is similar to the “1970s space colony craze” (remember “L5 by ’95″—as in “1995”?)
I left a comment critiquing his analysis (and, just checking now, it looks like I owe David a response to his reply). If you have something to add, you’re probably best served by commenting there, not here.