Los Angeles, CA, August 9, 2005 The Space Frontier Foundation today called for a new approach to opening the space frontier. "For the first time since the 1920's, when the U.S. government purchased airmail services from the new private airline industry, there is an opportunity to support the new space transportation industry through buying rides into space," said Rick Tumlinson, a co-founder of the group. "It is time for the government to stop paying for development of new launchers, and instead, pay for results."
How the government would pay for rides into space remains an open question. "We don't want to charge ahead and advocate some new program without consulting with the very companies that would provide these space transportation services," explained Tumlinson. "We want to hear from companies who could benefit from the successful implementation of a program for the government to buy space transportation."
The Foundation believes hundreds of research projects are grounded while NASA struggles to keep the Shuttle going. Those are customers who are not being served, Tumlinson continued. The government, instead of developing new rockets, should help bring these potential customers to new launch companies, and help build this country's next generation of space transportation."