Originally Posted by anjirlly
Given that the U.S. has scrapped the space shuttle, and that tons of formerly military missions have been transferred to private contractors in recent decades (former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan), I'm surprised that no one is envisioning private businesses having the resources and agility to dominate this domain.
Because private industry doesn't actually have the resources to do what they're doing. What "private industry" is doing is being financed almost exclusively by NASA contracts and enabled by technology transfers from NASA and russia.
It is all a political shell game.
Note that Space X got hundreds of millions from NASA to develop their rocket and hundreds more to develop the capsule and are now getting $1.6 billion to launch 12 capsules with 1000 lbs of cargo. That is $133 million per launch. Not that much different from other existing launch systems.
And the "new" tech in use is still 60's vintage O2-kerosene combustion.
You're not going to builld any kind of advanced space combat infrastructure with that.
The *real* advanced tech space developments are being done by the AF and DARPA with the x37b program and x51a and other seriously "black" projects. Not NASA (under the current Administration NASA has been redirected into paper studies and money funnels, much like DOE) and certainly not the private space launchers. The most advanced "private" launcher vehicle in develoment is Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser which is a retread of an 80's-vintage NASA design, the HL-20: