While I’m generally loath to bandy about the phrase “NewSpace”, it seems particularly fitting in the context of a just-released video that does a darn fine job of summarizing where we are at this particular moment in time in developing a more commercially-oriented space industry in the U.S.
Were I a couple of decades younger, I might consider the industry a great place to be a part of something new and growing, sort of like how the computer industry was back in the late 70s/early 80s, when I was plugging away on a TI-99/4A and a Kaypro IV at home and TRS-80s, Apple IIcs and IIes in junior high and high school. Even tried to teach myself CP/M. (unsuccessfully)
Thing is, there was a fledgling private space industry back in the 1980s, too. Microgravity science payloads were lining up to fly on the Shuttle (till Challenger), the Conestoga launched from Texas (unsuccessfully), and folks were trying to get a crew-tended space station to orbit, the Industrial Space Facility (unsuccessfully).
There is great promise in the human spaceflight industry, but that promise is fragile. It needs nurturing and careful cultivation if it is to grow to become a significant contributor to U.S. (and global) prosperity. One way that everyone can support the space industry is to join a space society. Doesn’t matter which one – just join one if you haven’t already. Now is the time.