"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
This is a very early reference to the idea that private individuals (rather than just governments) could own space-going vessels.
Robert Heinlein wrote about a Joy-Boat Junior, a commercially produced suborbital spacecraft, in his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children. In the same novel, he also discusses privately owned spacecraft capable of interplanetary trips.
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