"Airplanes are interesting scientific toys, but they are of no practical value." That was the view of Ferdinand Foch, a French general and Allied Commander during World War I. Given the immense increase in the use of aircraft, even in Ferdinand’s own career, it should come to no surprise that aerospace will be a prominent aspect of the future. One of the biggest dilemmas currently facing the industry is whether space should be privatized, i.e. whether the government should hand control of spaceflight over to private companies. It seems somewhat counterintuitive for the government to promote private companies’ access to space, after all government space agencies are established organisations that have the experience and the structure to achieve their goals effectively. To understand why we need to know the purpose of organisations like the NASA and the European Space agency, or the ESA. The European space agency says that its purpose is “to provide for, and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications.” and NASA also has a similar mission statement revolving around research. In fact, all government space agencies are, at their heart, organisations based on research. Being funded by the people, NASA and the ESA are both required to report to the people so everything that NASA and the ESA does, every picture they take, every piece of data they sample and every component they innovate are all freely accessible by anybody. The impact of NASA and ESA’s combined $25 billion annual budget cannot be understated. As of 2016, NASA claims that there are over two thousand spin off technologies created by their research including advances in everything from artificial limbs to firefighting equipment and this is all available to anybody. To those against private space travel, it could seem that the rise of the private space sector would lead in a decline in funding for research for the ESA or NASA but I believe that this is quite a superficial outlook. The sole purpose of government space agencies and by extension, the government, is to facilitate the development of things that are in the common interest of everybody, but are not profitable. Grand ventures like the moon landings inspired millions but nobody has got rich because of it. The Hubble and Kepler space telescopes have revealed the deepest mysteries of our cosmos, but not a single private company will do this research. Research is risky and guarantees nothing in the short term, but government agencies can spend money for the long term. Whether they use private companies or manufacture everything themselves does not affect the outcome of the mission, but private companies have their advantages. Private companies are driven by profit and so are motivated to save money and improve the efficiency and production of their spacecraft. Private companies can be far more productive because they can afford to use techniques like vertical integration to help manufacture their goods in mass for far cheaper, allowing space to be accessible to more people. Instead of having to create a space shuttle program that costs $4 billion USD per year, NASA can now hire companies to launch satellites at $50 million USD a launch, vastly saving them money. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages is that private companies are not under the scrutiny of the public. Private companies can have a light hearted tone and brush off failed launches but government agencies have to respond to incidents with much more rigour and give detailed reports on the disasters and even can face public pressure into reducing the agencies missions. The companies themselves are often run by idealistic billionaires, who were children in the Apollo era and were inspired by mankind’s first steps on the moon, so much to the point where Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, personally financed the recovery of the Saturn 5 rocket engines, some fifty years after they were expended into the ocean. Perhaps the most compelling piece of evidence returns us to our original analogy: Planes were once heavily controlled and used exclusively by the government, but now produced and used commercially and likewise so will be the fate of the space industry with private companies at the forefront of it.