From building a resupply station in low Earth orbit, to mining minerals on nearby asteroids, private enterprise is already planning moneymaking missions to space.
Space is no longer just for governments. Little companies with big ideas are now reaching for the skies, making commercial human spaceflight a reality. Private businesses are investing big and aiming high, building their own rockets and orbiters, deploying commercial satellites to connect the globe, and preparing for space tourism. NASA's shuttle may have been grounded, but for corporations, the sky is no longer the limit.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.