“To boldly go where no man has gone before,” a phrase we all know, and one we grew up with. Today, it is more than likely that private citizens will actually get that chance. No, they may not go very far into space, but they may very well someday visit a space hotel, a space station, a lunar colony, or at least experience weightlessness in low Earth orbit. Right now, there are waiting lists, and folks made deposits worth tens of thousands of dollars to private space companies to experience that dream.Virgin Galactic is finishing up its first private spacecraft, and it is nearing completion of its Earth-based spaceport in New Mexico. NASA has also already contracted with several private space companies to help it with its needs to move people and supplies from Earth to the international space station. Many worry that private companies may not be able to handle all of NASA’s slated and future missions. However, I would submit to you that it was private companies which built all of the satellites, and all of the components of the international space station. It was also private enterprise, and free markets which built the space shuttle. It was built by private companies under contract.The Wall Street Journal had a great article on the privatization of space on August 17, 2011. The article was written by Andy Pasztor and titled “Private Space Taxis Race to the Launchpad,” and the article spoke of NASA’s contract with SpaceX, which also gives hope for investors who’d like to invest in the future of private space operations. Once these private companies and corporations have the money they need to move the ball forward, they will most likely be five or six times as the efficient as NASA using the same amount of money.Now then, many folks on the Space Coast of Florida have lost their jobs due to NASA’s budget cuts. Yes, I understand their plight, but I also believe that many of those folks will be able to get jobs in the private sector, as their expertise, knowledge, and worldly know how is worth a pretty penny. NASA has given contracts to many more companies such as; Armadillo Aerospace, Near Space Corporation, Up Aerospace Incorporated, Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, Masten Space Systems, XCOR, and several others.There has been some talk about the challenges that NASA was facing hiring the Russians to get us back and forth to the International Space Station. Meanwhile, the competition is on because the Chinese are building their own, albeit much smaller, space station. Unfortunately the Chinese will not have a toilet in their space station, and it is quite possible that they will use “flying toilets” – a term used by those living in the “Kibera Slum” in Nairobi Kenya, which basically amounts to discharging human waste into a plastic bag, and then throwing it outside onto a neighbor’s roof.We know that China has contributed to space junk, and it will be unfortunate if they also contribute to flying orbiting toilets. Because even if you get hit with a bag of human feces, if it is traveling at 17,000 miles an hour in orbit, it can do some real damage, and that’s no bull crap either. But jokes aside, this space race is on, and it’s time for the United States to pick up the pace and take us into the 21st century.Perhaps we can realize the science fiction futures written by writers such as; Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, Ben Bova, and Gene Roddenberry. In fact, it is interesting that DARPA has also started a group which will focus on building 100 years space craft. There have been a few space ventures, and space entrepreneurs who have already set targets of going to Mars, even if it’s only a one-way affair. In other words, if you go, you may not come back in this lifetime, but you will definitely go down (or up rather) in history.When it comes to space hotels, it appears that Bigelow Aerospace is on the leading-edge of expandable and inflatable habitats for low Earth orbit; where will they take them next? There are at least 12 countries that have plans to build spaceports, or have signed letters of intent or agreements with private space companies such as Virgin Galactic. There are also hundreds of thousands of individuals who are waiting on waiting lists to go into space, so there is plenty of money to go around for those private space companies ready to take people into space, and bring them back safely.Okay so, are there any risks? Indeed there are, one risk that we have considered is that we are approaching a period of solar maximum, and there will be solar flares which produce solar radiation which could damage orbiting space hotels, or spacecraft which happened to be in orbit at the wrong time. Luckily, NASA also has the ability to predict solar flares before they hit Earth in ample time to allow the safe return of space tourists prior to the arrival of the solar flare. Still, solar space scientists believe that starting in 2013 we might be in for a heck of a ride with regards to X-Flares of high magnitude challenging human space operations.The Russians are also getting in on the game, and they are building a spaceport near the equator in South America. They hope to use this location to launch rockets carrying satellites, astronauts, cosmonauts, and supplies into space. Launching from near the equator gives them a 15% advantage, and it requires less fuel to reach escape velocity from that equatorial region of our planet. Yes, there will be challenges ahead for the privatization of space flight. However this is a great time to see what sorts of technologies humans are capable of.Personally, I’m all in when it comes to private space flight, and I believe this is a step in the right direction, and a great leap for mankind’s future. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think about investing in private space companies, and book your tour into space as part of a dream that you will never forget during your life experience. Think on it.