Soyuz a model for future of space exploration

A three person international crew has blasted-off to the International Space Station on the Russian Soyuz rocket.

The crew consists of Dmitry Kondtrayev from Russia, American astronaut Catherine Coleman and Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli. They will conduct new experiments and have taken gifts to those currently onboard the station.

The Soyuz rocket is now the primary means of reaching the ISS with the retirement of the American NASA Space Shuttles.

Rocket scientist James Oberg explained space enthusiasts will always look the future, and the Soyuz will not be the only rocket for long. The future holds private enterprise based solutions to space travel and rocketry.

US private companies can build their own version. In fact, only a few weeks ago one of them was test flown,” he said. “Soyuz is a good model of a rugged, reliable, not too comfortable but always there when you need it space transportation system. It’s about time, some people say, we don’t need space shuttles and other kind of technical complexities and build something like the Soyuz.”

Oberg explained it is a cheaper more efficient model, and as private competition continues it will improve all around. There is no longer a space race between countries, but a race to find new information and technologies to reach new goals.

Space Entrepreneur Jeff Manber said the launch of the Soyuz is significant because it marks a beginning of a period in time when the rocket will be the primary method of reaching the ISS.

The good news is many people, myself included, that we’re dependant on another nation, but we’re not worried that it is Russia. That’s behind us. The Russians have been very reliable partners,” he said. “We have become true partners in space.”

There is a strong bond between Russians and Americas, he added. Space exploration will continue and a greater investment in space research beyond lower earth orbit will also expand. Manber said there is much more to look forward to.