Five Case Studies

  • Howard E. McCurdy
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology book series (PSHST)


This brief chapter introduces the reader to the five aerospace firms whose experiences follow. Each of the business firms represents a primary approach to the challenge of financing commercial space flight. The Boeing Company uses government awards to reduce the risk of business failure. SpaceX uses government awards to leverage additional private investment. Blue Origin relies upon the personal wealth of its founder. Virgin Galactic grew out of a privately funded prize. Orbital Sciences shows how a firm securing a commercial foothold retreats to government contracts when financial difficulties appear.


Faster better cheaper Boeing Company SpaceX Blue Origin Virgin Galactic Orbital Sciences Corporation 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard E. McCurdy
    • 1
  1. 1.American UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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