In a previous post, we introduced two privately-owned companies that are poised to revolutionize the space and engineering industries.
These companies included SpaceX, the company founded by Tesla magnate Elon Musk that’s already launching telecommunication satellites into space; and Blue Origin, the secretive company founded by Amazon.com leader Jeff Bezos which is known to be working with NASA to develop an astronaut escape system and composite space capsule prototype as part of its commercial crew program.
Those hoping to launch or transition to careers in space and engineering can drastically improve their chances with the help of TSTI’s highly-specialized training courses. Now let’s take a look at three more companies who are helping to usher in the next generation of space exploration.
Founded in 1999, this company is funded by a $180 million investment from Robert Bigelow, owner of the Budget Suites of America hotel chain. Unlike some of the other companies discussed previously, Bigelow Aerospace has chosen to forge its own path toward expandable (inflatable) spacecraft. Engineers at Bigelow Aerospace are responsible for launching two mini-space station prototypes, called Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. They’re also responsible for designing the B330, an expandable space habitat that supports “zero-gravity research including scientific missions, manufacturing processes, a destination for space tourism and a craft for missions destined for the Moon and Mars,” according to Bigelow Aerospace’s website.
SpaceDev/Sierra Nevada Corp.
Originally established in 1997, this company was acquired by Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems in 2008. Founded by computer mogul James Benson, this company’s mission is to provide customers with innovative, responsive and cost-effective space products including Spacecraft Systems, Propulsion Systems, Space Technologies, (they send a mechanism or component into space every 14 days on average totaling 4000 devices flown on 400 missions without a failure) and Space Exploration Systems. Sierra Nevada Corp partnered with NASA to design and build a commercial system capable of transporting crew and cargo to and from low-Earth orbit.
Founded in 2004 by British Billionaire Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic is a consumer-facing enterprise focused on making recreational space travel accessible to the masses as the first commercial spaceline. Rather than creating a craft that can launch satellites or allow astronauts to travel further into our solar system, Virgin Galactic hopes to create a suborbital vehicle that can carry six passengers and two pilots high into the atmosphere for a ride that will put ever roller coaster on Earth to shame. Engineers at Virgin Galactic are responsible for two vehicle types: WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo. WhiteKnightTwo was specifically designed to carry SpaceShipTwo up to an altitude of approximately 50,000 feet for a safe and efficient air launch.
Hopefully, this list has helped you to see the exciting potential of space and engineering fields. If you want to take your engineering career to the next level, TSTI can help!
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