This timely book shows the current state and future of the space travel industry―and how this is becoming our future―at a crucial juncture in the industry’s history.
The 21st-century space industry is changing drastically, the most dramatic shift happening in the United States, where private sector companies―like Elon Musk’s SpaceX―are building a dizzying array of new spacecraft and rockets, not just for government use, but for any paying customer.
At the heart of this space revolution are spaceports, the center and literal launching pad of spaceflight. The up-front costs of spaceports are measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the competition is extreme, and failure is unforgivable―and often fatal.
Aerospace journalist Joe Pappalardo has witnessed rocket launches around the world. In his comprehensive book Spaceport Earth, Pappalardo describes the rise of a plethora of private companies in the United States, and how they are reshaping the way the world is using orbit for industry and science.
This new paradigm is creating or reinvigorating spaceports, including the reborn Cape Canaveral, a remote jungle launch site in South America, secretive test facilities in Texas, and military bases where dominating space is part of national security. Space fanatics and newcomers alike will appreciate stories about the industrial titans, engineers, billionaires, airmen, schemers and public officials who are redefining what it means for humans to be a spacefaring species.