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Mapping Weak Signals

Inspired by: corporate press » Comercial craft orbits and returns

version: 2 / updated: 2010-12-11
id: #1244 / version id: #1243
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Rafael Popper
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Last changed by: Rafael Popper
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

Corporate Press (e.g. AFP, BBC, CNN)

The source of the Weak Signal is

Herald Tribune (10-12-2010)

Signal's headline

(max. 9 words)
Comercial craft orbits and returns

Signal's description

(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Weak Signal (approx. 150 words)
For the first time, a commercial space-craft has gently returned to Earth from orbit. The flight (wednesday 8-12-2010) by Space Exploration Technologies went flawlessly. It started with the launching of its Falcon 9 rocket, including a capsule, from Cape Canaveral in Florida, and finished with the splashdown just over three hours later.


space, commercial, flight, exploration, orbit


(max. 250 characters)
For the first time, a commercial space-craft has gently returned to Earth from orbit. The flight (wednesday 8-12-2010) by Space Exploration Technologies went flawlessly.

Signal's first apperance


Signal's potential evolution

It could lead to...
issue type of issue/development potential impact on society timeframe for the issue to become at least 50% probable
#1 Space Taxi companies may be carrying astronauts into orbit new/emerging

Under what assumption the Weak Signal might evolve.

NASA and other national space agencies continue supporting private space programmes.


please specify
please select
Level 3: important for the European Union European Space Agency
Level 4: important for the whole world

Filters preventing the signal's monitoring

economic filters (business/market interests)

Comments on selection:

Business models/interested may not reveal the weaknesses and threats of commercial craft orbits.

Key driving forces of this signal

Please use these boxes to provide up to 2 drivers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
Driver 1 Driver 2
Technological/Scientific Advancements in space technologies.
Political Growing importance of "conquering" the space.

Major risks & opportunities associated to the signal

Please choose the most appropriate timeframe option(s) to which you would like to provide inputs.
Risks Opportunities
between 2015-2025 Any country would have astronauts sent into space by private companies.

Potential stakeholders' actions

short-term actions
(after 2015)
Policy actors (at the international, European and national levels) New regulations on space transport and services.

Signal's relevance for European Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Innovation dynamics
Techno-security, hazard & risk

Signal's relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Transport (including aeronautics)

Pan-European strategies influencing the signal

please justify:
particularly relevant
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer

Research-friendly strategies potentially improving understanding of the signal

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here
please justify:
particularly relevant
Overcoming sub-criticality and systemic failures
To be subcritical means that the effort in a particular field or subfield lacks resources, equipment or a sufficient number of researchers to achieve a desired goal

Signal's relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
More research into the role of the private sector in space transport services.