The space wars are heating up. As it stands right now, the Russians have the biggest for-hire space program, but their fleet is aging. The new players on the market, like Space X, are competing for the future of that market.
Which will look something like this. Every country rich enough to afford it, and big companies, will be sending probes, satellites, and people into space. They will pay a private company to do so and eventually the market will be the opposite of what it is now, where governments dominate and private industry supports.
Here is an example of that:
A Japanese rocket has lifted off with a South Korean satellite in Japan’s first commercial launch of a foreign probe into space.
The HII-A rocket lifted off from a remote southwestern Japan island carrying the South Korean probe and three Japanese satellites.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a private company in charge of HII-A rocket production since 2007, is hoping to compete with the U.S., Russia and Europe as a launch-vehicle provider. This was its first contract to launch a foreign probe.
The Korean satellite, KOMPSAT-3, was developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute to monitor the environment. The rocket also carried Japan’s Shizuku satellite to monitor climate change and two smaller Japanese probes.
via UT San Diego