Why can’t we do space any more?

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A private sector space mission blew up yesterday. It was not the first: this is the third mission of significance to do so recently. What's happening?

Has space just got so much harder?

Is more technology more likely to fail?

Or is it that the private sector just can't do this stuff?

It may be all of those issues. And of course it could just be chance. Except it's beginning not to look that way.

What seems certain is that it is time for a rethink. Anyone leading that rethink should be reading Mariana Mazzucato: the state does these things best. That's not opinion. That's fact. If it's uncomfortable, deal with it. Progress depends on it.