According to this news article, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos is getting ready to build a spacecraft facility near Seattle and have it open next year:
… a Texas newspaper editor who interviewed Bezos earlier this year said the billionaire talked about sending a spaceship into orbit that launches and lands vertically, like a rocket, and eventually building spaceships that can orbit the Earth - possibly leading to permanent colonies in space.
Well, that’s cool! I’m actually pleased that so many ultra-rich folks are starting this up. I think that the government space program was and is necessary to do certain things (not the least of which was to investigate how to get into space and what to do there in the first place) . I also think that technology has rolled along far enough that private industry can join in on the fun, though it is still extremely expensive: hence the people getting in are ones like Bezos, and Richard Branson.
Eventually, these guys will make it profitable. And then folks like you and me can hitch a ride to orbit.
The initial investment is huge, but the eventual payoff is much, much larger. How much do you think a kilometer-wide metal asteroid is worth? Or a solar station that can beam microwave energy down to Earth continuously?
How much is it worth to simply explore the cosmos?