04 DEC | Commercial Space Travel

Lecture organised by SIB Utrecht

04 december - 19:45u tot 21:30u - Instituto Cervantes (Domplein 3, Utrecht)

For a long time, space travel was only possible for states, for only states could afford the expensive programs. During the Cold War the USA and Soviet-Union used the space race for international prestige and competition. After the collapse of the Soviet-Union the interests in space decreased, until recently. States are no longer the only ones with enough money to reach outers space. Billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are spending huge amounts of money on programs to send a car into space or send humans to Mars. Ambitious ideas such as space tourism or colonizing Mars are ensuring the attention of the media for these companies, but how realistic are they? Will there be a permanent base on Mars in ten years? Will space tourism be affordable for someone who earns modally? Companies like SpaceX seem to push traditional organisations like NASA and ESA to the background. Is the future of space travel purely commercial or will the traditional organisations remain the biggest players in the business? We will discuss this with Dimitra Stefoudi and Michel van Baal. Stefoudi is Research Staff Member of the International Institute of Air & Space Law, Van Baal is space engineer and former spokesman for the European Space Agency

After the lecture we will have drinks at Café Hemingway!