Hoyt Davidson, Sunday, 12-30-12 December 30, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " SpaceX, aerospace, angel financing, citizen science, commercial satellite industry, Cube Sats, Death Valley for businesses seeking capital, Direct TV, entrepreneurs, Hoyt Davidson, human spaceflight, international commercial space opportunities, investment banking, launch competition., launch reliability, low cost debt, Near Earth LLC, public private partnerships, return on investment, satellite financing, space business risks, space markets, space project financing, space solar power, space tourism, venture capital, XM Satellite
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Hoyt Davidson, Sunday, 12-30-12
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.
Dr. James Dewar, Sunday, 2-12-12 February 12, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " nuclear propulsion to LEO, " Saturn V, "The Nuclear Rocket: Making Our Planet Green, air launch, C5A, Dr. James (Jim) Dewar, Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), heavy lift, high explosive (HE), highly enhanced uranium (HEU), hydrogen fuel, ion energy, ISP, NASA, NERVA, nuclear reprocessing, nuclear rocket economics, nuclear rocket testing, nuclear thermal rocket (NRT), nuclear thermal rocket test stands, Peaceful and Prosperous, Plutonium, Project Bifrost, public private partnerships, pulse cooling, reentry vehicle (RV), solid core, space policy, Thorium, Tungsten fuel, U233, U235, U239, Vasimr
Dr. James Dewar, Sunday, 2-12-12
NUCLEAR THERMAL ROCKETS
Guest: Dr. James (Jim) A. Dewar. Topics: Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR), changing paradigms to use the NTR from Earth launch, nuclear economics. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Dr. Dewar back to The Space Show to further discuss the Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) and his paradigm changing approach to use the NTR to launch from Earth rather than using it only in space. During this nearly 2.5 hour discussion, Dr. Dewar makes the case for the NTR based on probable economics, the previous history associated with NERVA, and the assumed benefits flowing to private companies engaged in public private partnerships along the lines Dr. Dewar described. In the first segment, Dr. Dewar started out describing the existing barriers to using the NTR to LEO rather than only in space, plus he referred us to his 29 page introductory paper which is available on The Space Show blog for your download and review. During this segment, we fielded many listener emails and calls wanting to discuss the NTR ISP, possible fuels, testing, and legal issues impacting the use of the nuclear rocket. Michael called and talked about the discussions for a new treaty, the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) and how that would adversely impact using the NTR. Dr. Dewar talked about treaty issues over the years and suggested that treaties are not that easy to establish in this era while suggesting that they could also be modified. Near the end of the first segment, questions about thorium came up as did questions about additional commercial uses for the nuclear engine here on Earth.
In the second longer segment, we talked about winning over the public and the media. Charles Pooley called in with a set of questions and we talked about reentry vehicles, highly enriched uranium, and more. Jim described a Titan missile accident in Arkansas as an example of the safety controls even in a very large explosion. Another listener asked about cooling and Jim told us about pulse cooling. Dr. Dewar’s air launch idea was brought up again by another caller andMarshall sent in an email inquiring about the nuclear engine replacing coal in our terrestrial power plants to make electricity. I asked Dr. Dewar about risk assessment for the nuclear rocket and reprocessing given terrorism, etc. He said the reprocessed material would be carefully guarded but also weighed against the environmental risks associated with burying waste, burning it, or even dumping waste in the ocean. Dr. Dewar was asked about using the nuclear rocket only in space rather than attempting to use it to launch from Earth. He compared using it only in space to the Pony Express. Don’t miss his full response in replying to this question. Later in this segment, I asked Jim for his first step in advancing the NTR. He said the first step was to get people talking about the subject. Tom called in and also wondered how to get people to rally to the cause. Near the end of the program, Jim talked some more about potential economic benefits along with secondary commercial products such as heat pipes. As our program was ending ion engines came up as did Vasimr.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you want to contact Dr. Dewar, send your note to me for forwarding.
To download and read Dr. Dewar’s paper, see below:
A Technical and Economic Introduction to Nuclear Rockets