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tv   Real Money With Ali Velshi  Al Jazeera  December 26, 2014 6:00am-7:01am EST

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without food, water, shelter. >> a special one hour look at global attacks on free press. monday 9:00 eastern. on al jazeera america. ♪ the business of space. a new age is dawning for space exploration, a new commercial space age. >> we're demock are tiezing space. >> and with that comes a new space economy. private american companies racing to advance the technology that could challenge our concept of space. they call it a new frontier. ♪ >> i believe that it's on the frontier that we advance our
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technologies. it's on the frontier that we advance as a species. >> billionaires and startups align see it as the wild west. >> we believe a hunk of the moon that you can hold in your hands dollars. >> to build commercial space stations and eventually call onnize marches. and to make billions even trillions in the process. >> business plans will fail. bloom. >> it's a high-stakes investment with no guarantees. and when the absolute worst-case scenario becomes reality. >> can i ask how you felt when you heard yesterday?
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>> gutted. >> this is the business of space. ♪ 2014 has been a tough year for america's commercial space industry. in october, a private craft launch. that same week a test flight went terribly wrong. despite recent setbacks, commercial space exploration has grown into a $314 billion industry. and that could double by 2030. no matter the risks, and there are plenty, there's no shortage of seed money rushing in to fund this private push into space. since 2003, investors have put in $2.5 billion in to the quest of sending people into space. and those investments come with high risks, but the rewards of
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success could be even higher. once upon a time the united states government lead the race into space. today the u.s. is still ahead of the pack. this time as the epicenter of a new commercial space industry, and one day soon, tourists could board commercial flights that actually take them into space. ♪ >> it's a question too tempting for some tech billionaires and venture capitalists to ignore. rockets and spaceships, satellites and asteroid miners. moon landers, and even 3-d printers. space is the new frontier innovation. >> space is about exploration, and then it's about how you exploit it and profit off of it. >> reporter: the u.s. commercial
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space industry has experienced a major boom. global government spending is decreasing as the commercial sector grows. the united states spends $74 billion on space. around $17 billion of that goes to nasa. $122 billion is made up of commercial space products like earth observations, gps, and telecommunications, and $117 billion goes to space infrastructure, building spacecraft, launch pads, rockets, insurance, and research and development. the american private commercial space industry got a boost on april 15th, 2010. >> we will work with a growing array of private companies competing to make getting to affordable. >> that's when president obama promised nasa $6 billion to seed private space companies.
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>> that opened up a lot of opportunity for clever people, ambitious people, business people who thought they could do things cheaper or faster. >> nasa spent about $2.5 billion of that money by the end of 2014. in the name of creating a competitive market, nasa has pumped an additional $7 billion into two companies to build spaceship spaceships. >> we can imagine them extending to other locations in the solar system. we're starting to understand the model by which we can expand our economy into space. >> reporter: nasa has also spent billions on other contracts to station. >> they are really engaging the private sector, the schedule and
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cost discipline of the private reliability. >> but it doesn't also work, space x's program has a massive setback in october. the rocket exploded seconds after liftoff, with 5,000 pounds of cargo set for the space station. and we were there that night, cameras rolling. the explosion rang out like a sonic boom that ricochetted throughout virginia. then virgin galactic suffered the ultimate fail, the death of a test pilot, and the crash and destruction of spaceship 2. space is dangerous, but it's not
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deterring space entrepreneurs. >> the impetus is money. but the impetus is also exploration. most entrepreneurs in the space industry have a united vision that was once relegated to space-age cartoons to one day colonize other planets. >> it seems far off and expensive, but the same thing happened with aviation. >> there he is. >> just as aviation was expensive in infancy, so too is the commercial space industry. the biggest hurdle of all, the do you seeing the cost of launch. space x's launch is half the cost of its competitors. >> we use essentially the same
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technology that sputnik was launched on. >> but it is using a reusable space rocket. >> i don't see the way that this so-called commercial space sector is developing is necessarily going to provide a decent return on investment. to be blunt. it's a crap shoot. >> she sites ronald reagan's state of the union address. >> in the zero gravity of space, we could manufacture in 30 days, life-saving medicines that would take 30 years to make on earth. >> there were a number of possibilities that people were promising would be wildly successful and hugely promising. and they have not come to pass. >> but americans got to the moon with less technology that is in a typical iphone.
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>> we almost wear more computers than we had to enable us to get to the moon. >> and now the sky so to speak is no longer the limit. nasa has already invested almost $2.5 billion of the government money given to seed the private commercial space industry and will dedicate billions more in the coming years. phil is nasa's director of commercial space flight. he is the guy who decides how all of those billions of nasa dollars will be invested in commercial space companies. phil good to see you. thank you so much for being with us. >> you are taking a bit of exception with the way i set this up. i know you don't think this is a new space economy, you think this is a space economy that has sometime. >> i think we are seeing expansion of commercial activity in space recently, primarily because the cost of access to space has come down.
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so there has been definitely more activity in low earth orbit and commercial space primarily through wealthy individuals getting into the space business and trying new and innovative business plans. we have seen this all along throughout the space industry, people trying to make a profit. but recently there definitely has been an expansion. >> and we don't have a shuttle program anymore. so all eyes tend to be on non-nasa stuff. >> yes, we're still very busy at nasa. i think when the shuttle retired a lot of people saw that as sort of a retreat. but it has not been that way, it's just that the things we're doing may not be as visible as they were before. and now low-earth orbitations have become slightly routine, so it's more
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realistic to think of the private sector taking on that activity. >> what changed to make this the kind of thing that the private level? >> i think people always dreamed about economic activity in low-earth orbit and even beyond from the beginning of the space age, but it only became more realistic i think recently when the cost of access has come down. then you can see business plans start to close. innovation starts to emerge. entrepreneurs enter the scene, so i think it was a confluence of events of many, many missions to low-earth orbit. we have done that a hundred times now for over 50 years. >> is there any inherent conflict between a mission-driven nasa, which was a government agency, and the private sector in space as you are seeding and funding
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companies, do you run into inherent problems, where you are dealing with great dreamers, but they don't do things the way the government did? >> i don't see a conflict at all. i think every group brings something special to the table, and by partnering with private industry in this way, we have seen a synergistic approach, nasa which is steeped in experience and history, and lesson's learned, combining that with this innovation from the entrepreneurial sector, we're finding we can do a lot more for a lot less with that kind o - partnership. in fact it's inner dependent nasa has its sites on beyond earth orbit, and in order for us to do that, we have to make things more cost effective, and by turning over these more routine missions to the private sector, that is making it more
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cost effective. >> phil good to talk to you. thank you so much for being with us. well nasa wants american spaceships to take american astronauts to the space station and beyond, but there are several other countries working on shuttles to take private citizens into orbit. but after the crash we just survive? >> it's a horrible day for virgin galactic, for commercial space travel. it's a massive set back. >> we were one of the first to gain access to the site of that crash. space. ♪ >> we were talking to a young lady saying she just wanted her voice to get out there. >> by the thousands, they're sending their government a message. >> ahead of 'em is a humanitarian crisis where tens of thousands of people are without food, water, shelter.
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>> a special one hour look at global attacks on free press. monday 9:00 eastern. on al
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♪ welcome back to the business of space, i'm ali velshi. since 2003, over $2.5 billion have been pumped into developing commercial space flight. the idea that any of us could become an astronaut is driving the space tourism industry. but in october virgin galactic's spaceship two crashed into the desert. the tone at the space port, somber, on
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edge, security was extra tight. at one point asking us to leave, but we were here at the invitation of the ceo of the space port. >> you hear that noise? tested. >> this is roughly equivalent to the silicon valley of space. it's where virgin galactic and x core test their spacecraft. >> i have been chief executive here for 13 years. the one thing i can guarantee my crew when i started was i don't know when the next mishap will occur, but i know it will occur. >> virgin galactic was the front runner to take paying customers into earth's low orbit. these are the pictures the public saw. but it was a very different
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narrative after the crash. branson was visibly shaken. >> reporter: how much of a set babb is this? >> um . . . it depends -- it -- you know, as far as how much of a setback, it depends on what the cause was. it's a horrible day for us and space travel. >> the crash sent ripples through the commercial space industry, especially for its competitors like xcore. >> space is not easy, if it was easy there would be a company offers trips into space. >> the death rate for humans who have gone into space or earth's orbit is about 4%. by comparison, only 2 out of 100 million passengers have died on commercial air flights in the last decade. as virgin galactic and other
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companies compete to get off of the ground. former apollo astronaut said death is inevitable and will probably happen again. >> all of us who flew on apollo, knew we were involved in a risky business. when you do things of this kind, you will have failures. if human life is involved, you will have people dying. that's the price of advancing. >> but critics say that's exactly the problem. high. >> we want to build a spaceship that is 100% space. >> and space companies are forced to cut safety corners to reduce costs. >> if you try to get to 100% reliability, those last few percentage points cost you a lot of money, so at some point to continue the cost of development, you sacrifice a point or two of reliability and
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accidents. >> but many in the try, including the ceo of moon express says the private sector can and will build spaceships. >> sometimes people die, but that's okay, because that's what they have chosen to do. if we don't take risks, we're not going to move forward. >> virgin galactic isn't giving up. it's already working on a new spaceship to spaceship two. unofficially called by his nickname, hope. the ceo of virgin galactic joins me by phone now from the facility at the mojave air and space sport. good to talk to you again. thanks for being with us. >> nice to be with you, ali.
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>> richard branson said the speed of recovery depends on what the cause is. what was the a cause? >> well, they are investigating this accident, and i think they are making fast progress. they have already essentially said that they are not looking at an engine failure, they are looking at essentially the unlocking of a particular feature early, and so i think that they are making very good -- very good progress. and at the end of the day, you know, we'll take that information and make your vehicles safer. >> the first half of next year is around the corner, what is going to be different about this hope? >> well, i think we're going to have to let the investigation proceed a bit further before we fully answer that question, if there are recommendations from
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the ntsb, we're going to look at those and try to integrate those into the vehicle. but right now we're pretty hopeful that we'll be able to put this vehicle into service, and -- and move forward, because that's what -- you know, we'll all here -- here to do. >> we have been talking about where your spacecraft is set to take tourists into orbit. new mexico pump over $200 million into the space port, and many are asking are they going to see a return of that money? what is your response? >> i think it's going to be turn out to be a very important and productive investment for them in southern new mexico. we're excited about moving down there, and that's the plan once we're finished with our test flight program we will do so. the important thing is that we really are, all of us in the industry, exploring a new
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frontier, and it's hard. i knew when i got into this, that this would be hard, but it's important that we have resolve to move forward. and we have a great team filled with folks who used to run different parts of the program. these are guys who are not put off by -- by adversity, in fact part of the reason they are doing it is because it's hard, and that's why we're here. >> since the accident, what have you seen? have you recruited any new customers? have you been accepting new potential customers? has anybody canceled? >> we have a customer base of about 700 people who have put down deposits. we had a few of those, 2 dozen decide they didn't want to go forward, but we have also had a substantial number of people who have signed up since then. and they say they want this thing to exist, and they wanted to put down money to show that they believed that this thing
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should -- should move forward. that. >> until the crash, the federal aviation commission has agreed to keep it's mitts off until there was a fatality. are they now getting more involved? >> i think everyone involved -- all of the different stakeholders, whether you are talking about faa, or congressional stakeholders, you know, they all want to understand just as we do what happened. and i think everyone is saying let's let these investigations move forward in a professional way, read the reports, and understand what happened. >> gorge whitesides thank you for being with us. the new industry isn't just about space tourism.
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>> we believe a hunk of the moon that you could hold in your hands could be worth a billion dollars. >> mining the moon is just two minutes away. >> tomorrow on tech know. a brutal killing. a thorough investigation. >> we're pushing the envelope. >> but this is no ordinary c.s.i. >> what went on right before that animal died? >> hunting the hunter. >> we're gonna take down the bad guys. >> solving the crime. >> we can save species. >> tech know's team of experts show you how the miracles of science. >> this is my selfie, what can you tell me about my future? >> can affect and surprise us. >> don't try this at home. >> tech know, where technology meets humanity. tomorrow at 7:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
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welcome back to the business of space, i'm ali velshi. this is an extrordanaire time in history, the u.s. government is handing the reins to private companies to explore space.
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some say a trip to the moon isn't anymore complicated than planning an extended mission to antarctica. two of the startup companies are astro bottic, and moon express. they have a single focus to get to the moon and make billions. >> moon express and astrobottic market. >> we see the moon as the eighth content of the world. >> we believe a hunk of the moon that you can hold in your hands dollars. >> both are building unmanned spacecraft that could take cargo to the moon. >> payloads can mount above the deck or below the deck. once we land on the surface of
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the moon, we become a power station, so we have solar panels. we're like the local utility that can carry power with us. >> reporter: moon express's spacecraft is smaller. >> the design of our vehicle, our little spacecraft -- here it is right here -- notice it's like a little flying saucer. it can get all the way to the moons of mars. >> the ambition of both companies to build infrastructure on the moon, commercial space stations, launch facilities that can send spacecraft even deeper into space. >> the moon ultimately is a stepping-stone to bigger and better things, namely mars. that's the big objective of humanity right now. we need to start with the moon. it's in our backyard. >> nasa announced that both companies will be part of the
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lunar catalyst program. one day they will contract them to take cargo to the moon. >> nasa is of course moving on to the frontier challenges like going to mars, but we also think and recognize that it is very important to continue our economic expansion of the lunar surface as well. and that's why we're helping companies do what nasa once did. >> there is another layer to the competition here, the $40 million google lunar x prize. $20 million for the 1 company to drive on the moon and send back photos real time. many of the companies plan to launch to the moon in 2016. astrobottic has proposed splitting the launch cost with other teams and set up a sort of
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nascar for moon rovers. >> you will be able to see video streaming back live. >> this is red rover. >> astrobottic is already planning the branding too. they are selling advertising. >> it will be full of different logos and different opportunities for companies to have their messaging and branding, and social experience moon. >> it's competition for the sport and business. both companies will also be carrying paying customer payloads to the moon. astrobottic will bring among other customers a japanese sports drink. >> it's sending a drink to be the first drink to land on the moon and serve as a time capsule for the kids of japan to put their dreams in. >> until now, this is what moon exploration looked like to americans.
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now it's sports drinks and nascar races. but commercializing space means commercial. >> here is jim and i when we were testing the lunar module. when you start seeing a really creative innovative lander on the moon, and you have a close-up on it, and there's -- you know, budweiser, or you know -- or nascar, or some other, you know, advertising symbol, and there's a little bit of -- you know, game. >> but he says, sponsors are money, and private money is the key to developing commercial it. >> innovation is the secret to the future. that's what will enable by grandkids to look up on the moon and see lights of towns and cities and settlements maybe, who knows. >> jacob ward
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joins us now from san francisco. the concept of competing for something -- for which no market exists, how does this work? >> well, i mean ali i think what we're talking about here as a competition as a stabilizing force. i think both of these companies would tell you they are grateful to the other for existing. but also, you know, throughout the history sort of the privatization of space, competition is what i lous efficiency to happen, and it also enforces a certain kind of safety. when we think of it as a frontier of public exploration, suddenly your standards are different. so competition at this point is more of a normalizing influence than a true race to bring
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anything back, although these that. >> let's talk about the idea of lack of regulation. these companies that are competing, for instance for the google lunar x prize are so far ahead of any regulators, do we have to think about exploitation or those kinds of things. >> i think you absolutely do. if you just take the moon as an example, that is governed right now under a -- sort of an international treaty, sort of the space treaty that governs it, says that no nation can claim sovereignty over it. there has been some thought about what one can do up there, but no one has touched mining. one interesting example is antarctica, which is as close to another planet as we have here on earth. it is part of a multinational
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treaty that bans mining on the moon. so we would have to get around that. but if you look at the way people treat the moon, you see the apollo leaving, and they are blowing debris all over the place. we need a system to say we can all go there, but nobody can exploit the moon. >> interesting. jake thank you so much. >> thanks, ali. the new space economy are is also about asteroid miners, 3-d printers, and nano satellites. >> are you looking at a billion dollars industry? >> no, i think we estimate it at several gazillion. >> a merging nano sat industry. space. ♪ >> al jazeera america presents >> somebody's telling lies...
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♪ welcome back to the business of space, i'm ali velshi. space x's inaugural test, showed the world that newcomers are the future of the commercial space industry. since then everyone from tech billionaires to venture cappalists have been pumping billions into startups. the stakes are high, and there are
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no guarantees of payoffs, but as melissa reports that isn't stopping investors of ♪ >> private space company planetary resources believe that incredible amounts of metals can be mined from these asteroids. >> the ability to access resources in that environment as opposed to digging up the earth and hauling things up out of the gravity well of earth, that is a change in the economic equation space. >> reporter: the prospector, an orbiting space telescope. in the coming decades the plan is to send robotic probes to collect and bring samples back
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to earth, but it may be decades before real payback happens for investors, and there are setbacks like this one. [ explosion ] >> reporter: one of planetary resources was destroyed in the rocket explosion. >> stage one separation. >> reporter: many others lost equipment being sent to the space station. >> putting things into orbit is not a trivial task. >> reporter: it was the same for planet labs. explosion. >> your company took a hit? >> yes, but not on the scale that you might imagine. really we took this in stride. financially. >> reporter: they had already launched 71 of their nano satellites into space in the last 18 months, with an estimated resolution of 10 to 16 feet. this is one of the nano satellites, it is 12 inches
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long, and 4 inches long. not exactly what you think of, when you think of satellites. they send these up 20 or 30 at a time. and the aim is to take pictures of the entire planet. nano satellites are smaller and manufacture. >> cube sats today have more capabilities than the biggest satellites that we flew 50 or 40 years ago. >> reporter: and they are disposable. after a year or two they burn into the atmosphere and more are launched. earth. >> these are sugar cane fields in south and east of the amazon. this was august 8th. this was august 9th. and you can see where this field is being burned, and points out why it is important to see the earth every day. >> reporter: companies can buy
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the information. >> they give us the option of really accessing space for sometimes less than a hundred thousand dollars or even cheaper, and with that kind of low-cost technology, we have the ability to image the earth at before. >> reporter: they raised $65 million in 2013 to launch its satellites. >> are you looking at a multi-billion dollars industry. >> no, i think we estimate it at several ga cillian. no, i'm just being silly. yes, it is a pretty large sector. >> they are one of the fastest growing sectors of the space industry, and potentially one of the most lucrative. a -- the number of these stat lighted is expected to increase by 90% in the next decade. >> the ability to get satellites important.
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>> reporter: and jason dunn wants to help them get there quicker. he is the chief technology officer for made in space. >> lift off. >> reporter: the company launched its first 3-d printer to the international space station for testing in september. but dunn thinks his 3-d printer could be a game changer for nano satellite. >> we can launch the electronics, for instance, and then printing the rest of the satellite, assembling it on the space station and launching it. >> reporter: the satellites could then be made and released in space, dramatically reducing the cost of launch. >> this makes it easier to constantly get new satellites in orbit. >> reporter: dunn believes it will be crucial in the short-term by helping astronauts
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living on the space station to 3-d print their parts. but in the long term he sees a much bigger picture. >> it points to a picture where earth. where we can turn it into the house on the moon. it points to the direction of where human space exploration is headed. >> they have launched more commercial satellites this year than anywhere else. but the company plans to launch another 100 satellites in the next year. >> thanks, melissa. i want to introduce my next guest. he is the managing director of the space angels network, which represents a group of investors that seed startups. i am so fascinated that there are people who think about these things.
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how does a guy like you responsible for helping these companies, how do you know what is fantastical and ridiculous versus realistic. >> it creates the new ventures and new markets that stimulate the growth of the entire system. so as an investor, what you really want to look for is things that are pushing boundaries that might seem fantastical to some that are developing technology that is an order of technology that is better than anything else that exists. that's how you make out sized returns, and that's how silicon valley was founded on that technology. it's only recently that investors started to reduce it
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together a formula. >> there is no real return on this, right? other than having sold your investment to someone else, nothing has returned a profit? >> in terms of returns to the investor, we're just starting to see some exits -- >> and i should be clear. there are companies that support the industry that -- that build parts, that build -- that manufacture things. that's where the money is at the moment. nobody is going out to space and doing something and making a profit. >> planetary resources is making money. xcore is making money. astrobottic is another competitor who is looking to mine the moon, and they are making money today. >> but they are not making money on the business that they set out to make money on. >> they haven't gone yet but they are taking customer orders. >> is this failure rate going to
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be higher than that in silicon valley? or about the same? >> this is an interesting question, because we're still early days. leroy was talking about this, but 15 years ago, '95, '98, there was a false start in the industry. charlatans as we called them. but the failure rate was almost all. nowadays entrepreneurs are a lot more savvy. they are coming to the table with business plans that make sense. they are not saying give me a billion dollars and i'll build you a rock set ship. they know how to do a lot more with less. and what is happening today to give you an idea. we have had a hundred companies that applied to our network this year. probably 20 of those have made it through our screening process -- >> wow, that's a pretty good percentage. >> yes. it speaks to the quality of resources.
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and that resulted in five investments this year, and we're well. >> interesting. us. >> absolutely. when it comes to space startups and the commercial space industry, the united states is well ahead of the rest of the world. but we'll tell you one area that china is doing much better in. >> these people have decided that today they will be arrested >> i know that i'm being surveilled >> people are not getting the care that they need >> this is a crime against humanity >> hands up! >> don't shoot! >> hands up! >> don't shoot! >> what do we want? justice! >> when do we want it? >> now! >> they are running towards base... >>...explosions going off we're not quite sure... >> fault lines al jazeera america's emmy winning, investigative, documentary, series...
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♪ welcome back to the business of space. i'm ali velshi. the united states has the most developed private commercial space industry in the world, and the biggest government space budget, but that's not deterring other countries from making bold
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leaps where other men have gone before. as mary snow reports. >> reporter: the european space agency erupts into cheers and hugs and history is made. a european spacecraft lands on a speeding come met after traveling 4 billion miles over the last decade. it's aim? to collect information about the earliest days of the solar system. it was a social media bonanza with millions around the world watching on live streaming video as the head of the european space agency made it clear, score one for europe. >> this is the best of the world, because we are the first to have done that, and that will thank you very much. [ applause ] >> reporter: not so far off from the global interest that was sparked in 1957 with sputnik. >> all over the world, people are tuning into the bleep bleep of the satellite, which carried
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the highly complicated mechanism. >> reporter: the russian satellite launched into orbit and launched the space race. but there's a big difference. the race to space in the 60s, was fraught with political tensions and massive competition over the might and technology prowess of superpowers. >> if you look at the international space station this is an example of multiple countries coming together from all across the globe to work on a collaborative project. the most complex engineering feet that we ever attained. >> reporter: but the u.s. announced it was suspending all joint rocket and space proms with russia, except for the
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space station. -- america still relies on russia to send astronauts to the space station. china is also working on building its own space station. and it has set its sites on landing on the moon and collecting lunar samples, perhaps to compete with u.s. companies looking to mine there. the united states still pumps the most money into its space programs at $42 billion in 2013. europe and russia come in a lose second, followed by china at about $3.5 billion, and japan at $2.5 billion. india has one of the smallest government space budgets at $1 billion, but it hasn't deterred the country from making huge leaps. india launched a mars orbit
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or in 2013 on a shoe spring budget. >> the success of our space program is a shining symbol of what we are capable of nation. >> reporter: mary snow, al jazeera. we are joined by the director of research for the space foundation. he says the u.s. is so far ahead that there's no real competition on that front. but co-op-titirk on, it it's -- it's a very different mind set these days? >> absolutely. back in the day you had the u.s. and the soviet union in competition. now it's really more on an
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economic level. who can get the largest share of the global launch market? who can provide more satellite services across the globe to customers everywhere. >> reporter: and it's a little bit different because back then, it was still in the shadows of a cold war, and while we have spent time talking about the fact that there may be a new cold war developing, that's not the context anymore. >> absolutely. people are looking for ways to work together, and even when you have a mission that is being sent to another planet, and maybe it's technically a nation sa mission, but they are still going to be working with universities around the world. they might supply some of the instruments aboard the spacecraft, and agencies around the world as well. the upcoming james webb telescope, we have a strong that. >> you mentioned europeans, and we just showed the example in
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the story, their goals having to do with space exploration are very different than american goals, or the goals of someone like elon musk. tell me about that. >> i think the goal for all of us is to go out and explore and learn more about space, but we all do it in different ways. so you have the european space agency, which just achieved an incredible feet landing on a comet, but then, yes, you have someone like elon musk, who got into the business because he wanted to send a greenhouse project to mars, and he realized it would be so expensive to do that, that he decided to start his own rocket company. >> we just showed the fact that the indians were able to send the probe to mars for $75 million. happen? >> well, it depends on how the
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spacecraft is constructed, and what it's capabilities are. and people do draw that comparison between the cost of the indian spacecraft and a similar nasa mission. but they are similar in time frame not necessarily capabilities. the entire instrument payload aboard the indian spacecraft weighed about the same as one of the spacecraft. >> let's talk about china. you say the role that china is playing in the world, as it relates to exploring space is interesting. it's about getting to space, but it's also about soft power. >> right. a country like china is very strategic about how it uses its space program. and it's no so much about services. so the chinese have worked very
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closely with nigeria, venezuela, and other countries that have a lot of natural resources that can then be used in the chinese economy. so they use their space program in providing satellites and trains on how to use the stat lights. that's one of their ways of gaining diplomatic power, and forging new relationships that can then be used in other areas, outside of the space industry to fuel the chinese economy. >> thank you so much. it may sound like a movie trailer, but the exciting reality is that many of the world's space programs have their sights set on exploring and one day colonizing mars. >> we can send humans to mars without having to bring everything with us, because we'll already know how to use ourselves.
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>> sunday night. >> 140 world leaders will take the podium. >> get the full story. >> there is real disunity in the security council. >> about issues that impact your world. >> infectious diseases are a major threat to health. >> "the week ahead". sunday 8:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
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♪ we have heard a lot of crazy things tonight. colonizing mars, mining asteroids, 3-d printing entire moon towns. but this is the time to set big goals, and yes, even dream a bit. we still don't really know what the push into commercial space is going to look like, but here is what some leaders in the industry believe. >> we know that we're contacted to the cosmos, we don't always ♪ >> it is the space calls to us. is there life elsewhere? >> 20, 30 years down the road, we have the ability to not have to send humans on what today seems like camping trip. >> we know that people will need
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to extract resources from the soil. build buildings, build infrastructures, and return value from what they are doing. >> in only a couple of decades the first kids that are born in earth that will look up and see lights on the moon. >> it is the ultimate opportunity to grow, to expand, to reach your full potential, and i don't mean just as individuals. i mean the whole life here on earth. it is the grand opening, and it has no end. >> sustaining life on mars may stretch the limits of our collective imagination, but so does landing a spacecraft on a moving come met -- comet, and we just did that. children like me who grew up as star trek fans, today use devices in their homes and cars that would make captain kirk green with envy. thank of all of the technology
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that nasa developed that contribute to our own lives. artificial heart pumps were developed from the technology based on the space shuttle's fuel pumps. more than 1300 advances that have pushed humanity forward, and that number will only grow with the proliferation of new commercial space companies, continuing to push the boundaries of our imagination. so next time you look up at the endless possibilities in the sky, remember, as we push the limits of technology up there, we'll continue to benefit and evolve down here. thank you for joining us in our space. ♪
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>> i'm ali velshi, the news has become this thing where you talk to experts about people, and al jazeera has really tried to talk to people, about their stories. we are not meant to be your first choice for entertainment. we are ment to be your first choice for the news. >> because of the extraordinary service of the men and women in the armed forces, ago has a chance to rebuild its own country. >> kudos, president obama thanking american service men and women as he announces the end of the afghanistan war. >> 10 years later and the scars are still visible in more than a dozen countries, a look back a decade since one of the worst natural disasters in history.

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