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Rex Ridenoure, Monday, 10-6-14 October 7, 2014

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Rex Ridenoure, Monday, 10-6-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2330-BWB-2014-10-06.mp3

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Guest:  Rex Ridenoure.  Topics:  Ecliptic Enterprises updates, commercial space, commercial space and the future.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed back Rex Ridenoure to the show for this 96 minute discussion containing Ecliptic Enterprises updates, commercial space programs and business models,  plus much more. In the first segment, our guest provided us with updates for Ecliptic from the time he left the company to do consulting for private missions and then his return to the position he left.  Government sequestration happened about the same time and hurt Ecliptic as you will hear, plus it caused Rex to come back to Ecliptic. You will also hear how business has come back for Ecliptic since sequestration ended.  Rex talked about new contracts, the focus of their business and more.  He spoke about RocketCam and updated us on some of its new market potential plus features and advancements.  We talked about the emergence of cubesat companies as potential Ecliptic customers given the advancements in this field.  Rex talked about a new emerging business line for the company in the form of being an integrating contractor rather than only a subcontractor to a prime.  Export control and ITAR were discussed when I asked if RocketCam was being sold to foreign launchers.  The short answer was no but listen to what Rex had to say about export control and the hope for new rules in the near future.  Rex introduced us to the concept of experiment control on the ISS.  This pertains to experiments on board the ISS being controlled by ground personnel rather than by the ISS crew.  Doug called to ask about the purpose of the Ecliptic projects plus goals for Rex with his work.  Don’t miss the killer reply Rex gave Doug.  Other topics in this segment dealt with rad tolerant hardware as opposed to radiation hardened hardware and streaming data back to Earth on the DSN or another system.

In the second segment, Rex spent most of the time talking about commercial space and his years in service to developing commercial space including early in his career. See the career time table for Rex that I have posted on the blog.  Rex identified a few of the early commercial space projects he was involved with, then he said we had finished the first wave of reconnaissance of our solar system.  Listen to his explanation for this statement.  Rex next talked about one of the next big commercial areas for development which he said would be bringing  space resources to the Earth economic system.  Listener Paul emailed a question asking about commercial space efforts in other countries.  Following that discussion, Rex told us about attending the 10th anniversary XPrize event at Mojave which was an invitation only event.  I asked Rex if people were disappointed that ten years had gone by without commercial spaceflights.  He did say that their was an air of disappointment in the room among those attending the event.  Near the end of our show, Rex was asked about HSF to Mars.  He also talked about the early program Elon Musk wanted to do, Mars Oasis.  SLS came up for discussion, then Rex provided us with a list of take away points for our discussion.  He ended by saying that commercial launch dated back to 1963 and the trend was for more commercial launches and space projects.  He said commercial space was based on a 50 year old proven model.

Please post your comments/questions for Rex Ridenoure on TSS blog per above.  You can reach Rex through me or the Ecliptic website, http://www.eclipticenterprises.com.

Hoyt Davidson, Sunday, 12-30-12 December 30, 2012

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Hoyt Davidson, Sunday, 12-30-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1920-BWB-2012-12-30.mp3

Guest:  Hoyt Davidson.  Topics:  Commercial space financing, markets, and risks.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information.  We welcomed Hoyt Davidson to the program to discuss commercial space from the perspective of markets and financing.  Mr. Davidson, founder and managing Partner of near Earth LLC (www.nearearthllc.com) shared with us his expertise and experience in a very instructive discussion on these important topics.  While much of the focus was on the commercial satellite industry, the applications apply across the board in the commercial space industry.  One of the topics we discussed in great detail was market risk. In fact, our gust suggested market risk was a bigger challenge and more of a possible road block than technical or regulatory risks.  Mr. Davidson also said what many others in the commercial space arena say and that is that the companies prefer to see themselves within their overall general industry such as media and communications rather than as a space company.  We talked about several popularly touted possible commercial space industries from a market perspective, the length of time needed for a return on investment, and what is referred to as Death Valley for space entrepreneurs.  Death Valley refers to an opportunity being too large for an angel investor but too small for venture capital.  In talking about market risks, we also talked about getting investor partners to strengthen the deal. XM Radio was cited as an example.  The pursuit of market research was discussed, both from the perspective of using a market research company and doing the market research in-house. Other potential commercial space industries were examined including space tourism, citizen science for orbital with cubesats as well as suborbital, space solar power, satellite internet services, and the use of public/private partnerships.

In our second segment, a listener wanted to know about space focused investment banking career opportunities for MBA graduates.  Next, we talked at length about public/private partnerships and being “pure” regarding what constitutes a commercial space company.  In this context, pure refers to not having a mix of government and private capital, instead being 100% private. SpaceX with Cots and Commercial Crew served as one of our company examples but we also noted that no such 100% pure private company was out there given the costs and challenges of space ventures.  Listeners asked about private capital financing for NASA science missions such as a Europa mission.  Other listeners wanted to know about commercial opportunities for human spaceflight. Here, our guest suggested the opportunities were more with the robotic missions that come before the human missions.  Toward the end, a listener asked how higher tax rates might impact risky commercial space investments.  We also talked about geographical areas of special investment expertise in the U.S. and in other countries. Silicon Valley is not the only player in this field.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can email Hoyt Davidson through me or by using his website.

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