Virgin Galactic have announced they will start regularly flying paying customers next year.
The space policy threads will still be dominated by arguments over SLS, even though the program was phased out years before.
Quote from: eric z on 04/27/2022 06:15 pm The space policy threads will still be dominated by arguments over SLS, even though the program was phased out years before.I predict SLS/Orion will get 8 flights before the program ends. When Starship is flying at a tiny fraction of the cost of SLS and New Glenn gets a reusable second stage, even Congress will finally get it. I'm betting there will be an attempt to keep Orion alive by flying it on New Glenn.
By 2050, Starship will have been long retired after serving as a mainstay workhorse space vehicle. By then there will be an even larger and even more capable workhorse vehicle in service.There will be plenty of robots on Mars, even if human have only a light token presence there (most likely in orbit). The decision to use robots as an easy low-risk path to Mars exploration and colonization will have proven to be the best of all worlds, with unprecedentedly capable robots transmitting back volumes of vital data and important discoveries risk-free. AI will enable robots with extreme versatility and capabilities. There will be surface exploration at the Martian poles, and even the Martian underground.The human presence on the Moon will be greater, through a permanent continually-staffed Moonbase. Flights to the Moon will be as routine as flights to LEO are today. With the ISS long gone, the Moonbase will be the new routine destination for manned flights. Lunar surface EVAs will be common. But manned missions to Mars will still be a relatively novel and more expeditionary thing.There will be at least a half-dozen launch providers among private companies, in addition to various govt space agencies.