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Dr. Sean Casey, Tuesday, 2-12-13 February 13, 2013

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Dr. Sean Casey, Tuesday, 2-12-13


Guest:  Dr. Sean Casey.  Topics:  Space Entrepreneurism, Silicon Valley, space startups, Silicon Valley Space Center events, programs, & objectives.  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 back Dr. Sean Casey, co-founder of the Silicon Valley Space Center business accelerator (http://svsc.org).  You can “like” them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Silicon-Valley-Space-Center/139916589409748.  The SVSC can also be found on LinkedIn. While hour 2 hour 40 minute program was in two segments, this summary will be in one part as our themes and topics went back and forth in the same area throughout the discussion.  Dr. Casey started with a summary of 2012 activities and events for the Silicon Valley Space Center (SVSC).  During our discussion, Dr. Casey talked about, mentioned, and listed many space entrepreneurial startups and businesses, far to many to list or mention individually.  He also outlined coming events for the SVSC which are available to the public and will be online for those unable to attend in person.  Responding to listener questions, he cited company example after example of space startups and we even talked about Northern California, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley being the center of this effort.  Upon listeners questioning him on the subject, Sean suggested additional startup space efforts in other parts of the company.  While Silicon Valley does not have a lock on this new industrial development, as you will hear, startups and space entrepreneurism are developing in centers across the country.  We also talked about venture capitalist ROI expectations over five years coming in around 30%.  We discussed the hockey stick graph and what this means for space entrepreneurs.  Sean spent time on the SVSC website and Facebook page going through the coming 2013 events and programs.  Doug called in with a question about track records for startups and investors.  In his response, Dr. Casey talked about the various business incubators now in place to mentor and help space entrepreneurs, even non-profits.  He suggested how you might find a reputable business incubator in your own city or area though one could probably work with one of the organizations Sean mentioned, even if you are outside California.  Another issue that came up was lobbying members of congress and state representatives on space policy.  Here, we talked about California and I again shared my experiences with Sacramento and California Space Day over the last six or seven years.  Dr. Casey addressed the uphill battle with gaining more political support for all aspects of the space industry, especially in California.  Dr. Casey provided us with one of the most comprehensive space startup and entrepreneurial programs heard on The Space Show.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog mentioned above.  You can reach Dr. Casey through me or directly at sean.casey@siliconvalleyspacecenter.org.


Tim Pickens, Thursday, 8-2-12 August 2, 2012

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Tim Pickens, Thursday, 8-2-12


Guest:  Tim Pickens.  Topics:  Pickens Innovations, commercial space, space economics & policy.  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. 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 Tim Pickens back to the program to tell us about his new company Pickens Innovations.  As Tim explained, he has left Dynetics and formed his own consulting business.  Learn more about his new consultancy and activities by visiting www.timpickens.com.  We started our discussion by my asking Tim about some of the comments I made yesterday in a USA Today telephone interview regarding commercial/private space development.  Since I forgot to record the interview (something I have learned to do for my own protection given edit rights are seldom permitted re the articles or programs), I bounced some of my comments off Tim to see if I was drinking my own Kool Aid about the state of the private space industry, its potential, the positive changes I see happening, and more.  Tim confirmed that I was on the right track so now I await the USA Today article.  In the process of this discussion, Tim had much to say about the emerging commercial space industry, the companies involved, the economics and the markets.  We talked about how things have changed for the better over time and in recent years.  I then asked Tim about Rocket City Space Pioneers, his Google Lunar X Prize entry, for which he remains the team leader.  Tim was quite frank in discussing the program with us, the Google Lunar X Prize in general & many of the critical issues facing the contest & all the contestants.  Do listen carefully to what he said as it goes right to the heart of issues facing the broader commercial & private space development efforts/industry.  Part of our discussion focused on the value chain available for sustainable lunar business, the problems with ride sharing at this time to the Moon and much more. We also talked about essential time lines for the contest.  He said many times that affordable systems were needed, viable and sustainable business models were needed, and he was thinking about a merger or joint venture with other contestants to make it happen.  Tim fielded many questions about his new consultancy, Pickens Innovations. We learned that he was getting involved in other areas than space, specifically medical devices.  He described two such devices and why his company was pursuing their development.  How about market size and potential as compared to space?  In fact, cash flow & revenue from these successful non-space businesses are expected to fund many of his space development activities.  Also in this segment, our guest talked about space hardware issues.

In the second segment, he defined the Man Cave which he talks about on his website.  Tim responded to a listener question about the potential of a Netscape Moment re investing in space businesses, plus he talked about the need to have more fun and be less nerdy, referencing conference presentations and similar things space people engage in from time to time.  As an example, he cited the Big Bang Theory TV show and a new show about to start, Top Engineer.  Later, we talked about SLS and its future, its mission, and its likelihood of being funded to completion.  Suborbital space and vehicle issues were a discussion topic followed by Tim talking about the Space & Missile Defense Conference in Huntsville (www.udreg.com/SMD) later this month. His closing comments were positive & upbeat for our future, especially by using disruptive technologies which he talked about at great length throughout the interview.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.

Dr. John Lewis, Monday, 5-28-12 May 29, 2012

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Dr. John Lewis, Monday, 5-28-12


Guest:  Dr. John Lewis.  Topics:  Asteroid mining, Chinese space program.  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. 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 back Dr. John Lewis to discuss asteroid mining and the Chinese space program. You can order Mining The Sky: Untold Riches From The Asteroids, Comets, And Planets by Dr. Lewis as we talked about his book throughout our program.  If you use this Amazon URL, Amazon will make a donation To The Space Show/OGLF:  www.amazon.com/Mining-The-Sky-Asteroids-Planets/dp/0201328194/ref=onegiantlea20. Our first segment focused in on asteroid mining, where are today, its future, legal issues to be settled, risks, and more.  Near the end of this segment, we also talked about the Law of the Sea Treaty, the common heritage of mankind and revenue sharing ideas, all of which would be detrimental to asteroid mining and expanding space commerce.  Earlier Dr. Lewis referenced the Keck study, The Asteroid Retrieval Feasibility Study which says we can capture a certain size NEO and put it in orbit around the Moon. Dr. Lewis carefully went through the pros and cons of doing this.

In the second segment, Tim called in and continued the revenue sharing and common heritage discussion.  Dr. Lewis then cited his family history dating back to 1625 coming from theNetherlands with the West Indies Company, then staying here and moving west rather than returning to theNetherlands.  He drew parallels with this and potential space settlement and risk taking.  Next, we talked about the Chinese space program, their space station, the upcoming taikonaut launch in June and the fact that they are actually “bending metal” in making hardware for going to the Moon, unlike the Indian program which is still largely talk.  Near the end of the segment, we talked about lunar mining, the needed future vision and leadership, the need to be a multi-planet species and why.  Our discussion with Dr. Lewis is full of important information so I urge you to carefully listen to this program and use the internet to follow up on many of the topics and issues he brings to our attention.  For example, you might find it interesting to see the 1926 Plan of Space Exploration as developed by Tsiolkovsky (www.informatics.org/museum/tsiol.html).

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.