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Synopsis: During the last 50 years, NASA’s dreamers have boldly gone forward, spending an enormous sum on research, design, and infrastructure. Even in NASA’s early days, there were dreamers exploring whether they could privatize some aspects of the U.S. space program to keep it funded—an alternately pragmatic and fantasy concept called space commerce. Handberg offers a historical analysis of the international politicians, economists, scientists, and industrialists who have sought to create an entrepreneurial space program, and brings a current political perspective to the risks, goals, and predicted rewards of space commerce, which may include such enterprises as launch vehicles, telecommunications, and remote sensing. He examines these efforts from three interdependent factors—economics, politics, and technology. For readers interested in space policy as well as technology policy, this volume is an eye-opening portal to the fantasies and realities of space commerce both here on Earth and in the heavens.   

Book Description: “Makes an important contribution to the field of space policy . . . [explaining how] space commerce is intertwined with political issues, and often conflict[s] with national security interests.”—Eligar Sadeh, Department of Space Studies, University of North Dakota During the last 50 years, NASA’s dreamers have boldly gone forward, spending an enormous sum on research, design, and infrastructure. Even in NASA’s early days, there were dreamers exploring whether they could privatize some aspects of the U.S. space program to keep it funded—an alternately pragmatic and fantasy concept called space commerce. Handberg offers a historical analysis of the international politicians, economists, scientists, and industrialists who have sought to create an entrepreneurial space program, and brings a current political perspective to the risks, goals, and predicted rewards of space commerce, which may include such enterprises as launch vehicles, telecommunications, and remote sensing. He examines these efforts from three interdependent factors—economics, politics, and technology. For readers interested in space policy as well as technology policy, this volume is an eye-opening portal to the fantasies and realities of space commerce both here on Earth and in the heavens.  

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