With Amazon founder Jeff Bezos gearing up to become the second billionaire to cross briefly into space in as many weeks, there’s been a lot of discussion about the privatization of space travel. Former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino, for one, thinks there will be significant benefits.
First, he noted, NASA has long wanted to “turn over” some of its work to private companies “so that it could help our economy.” Scientifically speaking, though, he believes the ultimate goal is to increase access to space for people who may not have otherwise considered going beyond Earth to be a possibility. That could lead to innovation and new discoveries, Massimino suggested. “People can envision themselves going or what research they might do or what products they might develop or what they want to accomplish in space,” Massimino told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on Sunday’s edition of This Week. “Because now it’s possible. It’s going to let people be creative to come up with things we can’t even imagine that can be done in space travel.”