The commercialization of space is here and now in the present period. We saw space ship one win the X-Prize and take home the check for $10 million. Indeed Burt Rutan, Paul Allen and Sir Richard Branson were the first to send a private spacecraft into space. Yes they were the first, but they are not the only company working on this.
There are many other companies working on private spacecraft, which will be used to take space tourists into orbit and eventually to the moon. As a matter-of-fact several people currently have such ambitions and dreams to corner the market on space tourism.
Space ship one in their newly formed company already house over 35,000 people on a waiting list to go into space and they already have deposits in the bank. But what is the most efficient way to launch a private spacecraft?
Is it best to launch it from a mother ship, which carries it up or is it best to launch from the ground? Some believe it may be easier to float the spaceship up on a giant balloon into the upper atmosphere and then launched from there.
Indeed there are competing theories on what to do and how to do it. Space ship one proved it could be done by flying to an altitude of 40,000 feet in launching from there. Of course in the past NASA and the USAF has launched rocket plane aircraft from giant cargo type aircraft or bombers.
In the end we will see one method prove that it is more efficient than another and perhaps this will be the one, which most private space companies use. Consider this in 2006.