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

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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, https://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.

Space Show Audition Program, Tuesday, 10-16-12 October 17, 2012

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Space Show Audition Program, Tuesday, 10-16-12


Guests: Dr. David Livingston & Audition callers. Topics: This first time ever Audition show had a variety of topics per below. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written 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 do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube or other private channels/websites/publications. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright & trademark policies which we do enforce.Welcome to our fist Space Show audition program. Most callers talked about their projects to earn a place as guest on the program. We received email questions from listeners for the caller. Tell us on the blog if you would like to hear a specific caller as a guest on The Space Show. John was our first caller regarding his concept for a Two-Stage-Tether-to-Orbit program.  I’ll upload his two PDF documents to the blog, both of which explain in detail what he summarized on air. Doug was next to talk about Cislunar development around lunar ice at the poles, a moderate heavy lift such as the Falcon Heavy, propellant transfer and depots, and depot locations along with cargo transportation. Doug was asked about markets for his concept which he said might include satellite servicing. When asked about his time line in a “perfect world” supporting his concept, he suggested about 11-12 years. He also talked about a lunar settlement and his Lunar Cots Petition (www.ipetitions.com/petition/lcots). Andrew in Tucson was the next caller, encouraging people with ideas to assemble a garage type tool shop to learn to make simple parts of the hardware supporting their ideas. He talked about tools going back to WW2 & the ’60s as being valuable & important today. He explained why he was encouraging people to learn to do at least the basics of building their project components which would help obtain financing & spur the interest of others. He will soon have some of his videos on YouTube so search under his name for more on his idea, “Andrew Tubbiolo.” Jeff from Tucson called next to talk about taking a holistic view of space programs/projects such as SLS. He talked extensively about the need for solid rocket propellant per SLS & made the case for NASA being an integral part in our national security via its use of solids, space projects, etc. He stressed the holistic broader view over a more narrow view brought up by listener emails such as cost, economics, etc.

Our much shorter second segment started with a call from Armen who talked about the interstellar roadmap which could change the way space projects are financed.  He talked about financing being the bottleneck for space projects, then explained how the Fed creates money, debt/credit relationships, and how something like QE3 could be replaced by putting the $40 billion in one month toward space companies per the roadmap. The roadmap by Star Voyager was discussed. You can obtain more information from the Leeward Space Foundation (www.leewardspacefoundation.org). For specifics, www.leewardspacefoundation.org/id32.html. Our caller then talked about the International Space Development Hub (ISDH) at www.isdhub.com. ISDHub has proposed NASA Ames transform Hangar One at Moffett Field from a parking space to a space business hub. For details, see www.isdhub.com/about-us.

Place your comments/questions on our blog. Let us know who you would like to hear as a guest on The Space Show. You can email the callers through me.

Here are the two tether articles referenced above and from the first caller discussion: