Space Travel for Everyone. The Final Frontier?

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Blue Origin’s New Shepard crew (L-R) Jeff Bezos, Wally Funk, Oliver Daemen, and Mark Bezos walk near the booster to pose for a picture after flying into space in the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket on July 20, 2021 in Van Horn, Texas. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Recent space flights by Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson have raised the tantalizing question of whether space travel is in our near future. Space exploration has traditionally been the venture of governments, but with last November’s launch of an astronaut crew to the International Space Station by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX, commercial flights to deep space seem more tangible. But is privatized space travel by billionaires just a vanity project? Or is this a huge step towards tackling space, the final frontier?  


Emily Lakdawalla, science communicator and educator; "The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job."

G. Scott Hubbard, director, Stanford Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation. He is the former director of the NASA Ames Research Center, and was the very first NASA "Mars Program Director."

Chris Kemp, founder, CEO and chairman of Astra, an Alameda-based company that is working to make access to space more affordable for commercial entities.