Frank Stratford, Friday, 5-17-13 May 18, 2013Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " SpaceX, Bigelow Aerospace, billionaire investors, charity space model, commercial space success, commercial spaceflight, Curiosity, due diligence, failed mission consequences, Frank Stratford, human factors, human spaceflight to Mars., Inspiration Mars, markets, Mars Drive, Mars one, NASA, NASA spinoffs, private space companies, public/private partnerships, repeat customers., return on investment, revenue generation, space financing, space industry business models, space tourism, Stratolaunch
1 comment so far
Frank Stratford, Friday, 5-17-13
Guest: Frank Stratford. Topics: Commercial space and space travel business models and revenue generation. 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 Frank Stratford back to the program to discuss various commercial space business models, including nonspace revenue generating goals and objectives. Frank is the founder of MarsDrive so for more information, visit their website at www.marsdrive.com. During the first segment of our 1 hour 42 minute program, Frank introduced us to the topic in his April 22, 2013 Space Review article, “The Business of Space Travel” (www.thespacereview.com/article/2281/1). Frank talked about the need to generate nonspace revenue while building up the space company & space revenue R&D, activities, & markets. He cited SpaceX, Bigelow, & Blue Origins as examples. This led to a discussion about markets & financing, plus estimated costs for a human spaceflight mission to Mars. Frank compared the Mars One $6 billion estimate to his own estimate from his research to be $15 billion. Our first caller asked if big name investors associated with these early commercial space ventures created an expectation of success and may in fact turn out to not have been such a good idea. The detailed discussion included ROI, Stratolaunch and the revenue cycle gap from up front/early capital needs to revenue generation later on in the project’s cycle. We talked about the nonprofit or charity model and Inspiration Mars came to mind. I entered the discussion with comments about the need for repeat customers, a commercial space success to model, unrealistic assumptions, the lack of due diligence, and the difficulty in cost estimates, especially when the cost of getting to the destination (the Moon for example) is unknown at this time. Surrey Space & Technology was also brought up as an example of a good business to model.
In the second segment, our called pointed out a Moon & Back interview with Robert Bigelow in which our caller said Bob said he went into the r/e business to fund his space activities. Later, he email in additional comments suggesting that just because a space venture or idea is not funded does not mean it’s a bad idea or concept. He then advocated NASA support such as with COTS and Commercial Crew. Public/private partnerships were advocated as a good way to move forward with space development and exploration. Frank was then asked if a failed commercial project would hurt the industry. He said it was possible. Another question came in regarding paying attention to human factors and if solutions would be available at the same time as engineering technology, financing, and maybe markets. Frank said only if work moved forward on human factor solutions at the same time and at a similar rate. He also advocated his own organization working the problems. Listen to his reasoning behind this. As the program was nearing close, Frank was asked if Curiosity found proof of life in the past or now, even the most basic life, if it would make HSF to Mars more of a priority. Don’t miss Frank’s response. In summary, Frank talked about the need for continuous incremental development.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. If you want to email Frank Stratford, you can do so through me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
add a comment
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.
Walter Cunningham, Tuesday, 6-19-12 June 20, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " Apollo 7, " SpaceX, "The All-American Boys: An Insider's Look At The U.S. Space Program, Apollo 7 mutiny, Apollo mission sounds, Ares 1, artificial gravity, asteroid mining, climate change, CO2, Columbia accident, commercial space, competition in space, economics, flight surgeons, fusion, global warming, HE3, international cooperation in space, liquid rocket motors, Mars Missions, NASA, NASA culture, physics, reckless behavior in space, return on investment, risk, risk averseness., rocket vibrations, safety, Saturn 1B, SLS, solid rocket motors, space medicine, Space Shuttle, space shuttle retirement, Wally Schirra, Walter (Walt) Cunningham
add a comment
Walter Cunningham, Tuesday, 6-19-12
Guest: Walter Cunningham. Topics: An inside view of the American space program from Apollo to today. You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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 Walt Cunningham to discuss our space program from Apollo through today’s developing commercial space industry. For more information, visit his website, www.waltercuningham.com. You can buy “The All-American Boys: An Insider’s Look At The U.S. Space Program” from Amazon & they will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF if you use this URL: www.amazon.com/All-American-Boys-Walter-Cunningham/dp/1876963247/ref=onegiantlea20. I started the discussion by asking Walt about his perspective on Apollo 7 today, 44 years later. Walt had some interesting things to say about perspective, especially over the past 10-20 years as compared to when he actually carried out the mission. A few times during our discussion, questions came up about the so called “mutiny” with the crew & NASA ground control so listen to how Walt described what was mostly a non-event despite media & blog reports to the contrary. He did talk about Wally Schirra, his head cold & the Actifed commercials, but there was far more to the mission & to the significance of Apollo 7. Dr. Jurist asked about the ride on a Saturn 1B, professors & experiences while both were at UCLA. We discussed risk regarding his ride on the Saturn 1B. Walt had much to say about risk during the Apollo era as compared to now. We extrapolated from this discussion to Columbia’s foam issues. We talked about commercial space. Walt suggested that today’s commercial space efforts were not purely commercial given government funding & missions. He also said that retiring the shuttle when we did was a big mistake. He then took us through a cost analysis process to illustrate that space is & always will be costly. At the end of the first segment, one way trips to Mars & reality TV show funding were mentioned.
In the second segment, Terry called with questions about Von Braun. Walt had high praise & much to say about Von Braun & his experiences with him. Commercial space came up again & I asked him about asteroid mining. He did not think it would be a good investment & talked about the need to pay attention to the laws of physics. We talked about He3 on the Moon, fusion energy possibilities & more. I read an email from a London listener asking about the Apollo rocket & mission sounds on Apollo 7. We talked some more about the problems on board Apollo 7, this time regarding Wally & the TV broadcast delay & the wearing of the newly designed helmets during reentry. Walt talked about climate change & global warming, urging people to do their own research & examine the data rather than believing what people had to say regardless of their position. John in Atlanta called in about global warming & said that there was no practical mitigation strategy. Our guest shared what he perceived to be the true motivation of global warming extremists. John also talked about having built a next gen space shuttle from the old space shuttle to avoid retiring it or having to build an entirely new & very costly program. Walt supported that idea but history proved otherwise. Toward the end we discussed the pros & cons of international cooperation & competition, Ares 1 as a safe rocket for HSF, & the cost of the ISS being more due to international cooperation. Our final topic was risk versus reckless behavior & the difference between the two.
If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.