Rand Simberg is the author of 2014's Safe Is Not An Option: Overcoming The Futile Obsession With Getting Everyone Back Alive That Is Killing Our Expansion Into Space, and a space business consultant, as well as a longtime blogger and commentator. Today, on Unsupervised Learning Razib talks with Simberg about SpaceX’s ambitiously named vessel, Starship, and what it means for the space business. In the process, Simberg outlines just how much of a lead SpaceX has over its competitors, and how it has transformed the game over the last decade, lapping the private-sector competition and putting pressure on national space programs.
Razib asks Simberg about the long-term prospects for manned spaceflight, and what’s stopping us from reaching Mars and beyond. Simberg revisits some of the ideas that he presented almost a decade ago in Safe Is Not An Option, and argues that many of the hurdles are cultural and regulatory, not technological.