The space race, previously led by governments as an outgrowth of the Cold War, is beginning to shift in another direction, this time led by the efforts and innovations from private companies.
Last year's SpaceX mission to the International Space Station may just be the tip of the proverbial iceberg, as entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk are taking aim at not only commercial space missions that deliver cargo, but also private research missions and the emerging industry of space tourism.
According to KQED, a new wave of commercialization is disrupting the $300 billion global space industry, and not just by providing lower cost services to organizations such as NASA, but through cutting-edge innovations in technology that could pave the way for cheaper commercial space flights, scientific research, and even extreme adventure trips to space.
Their half-hour documentary examines how the "big, bold ideas of Silicon Valley" are helping to launch this new era of the "wild west" of space exploration:
Read the accompanying piece over at KQED for a further look at this trend: Silicon Valley Goes to Space