Press Release:  Space Frontier Foundation

Nyack, NY, August 11, 2009- After a weekend of presentations by several
new companies in the NewSpace field, the judges of the 2009 NewSpace
Business Plan Competition awards the following:
1st Place – Flagsuit, LLC
2nd Place – Syntiant
Honorable Mention – Santa Clara Satellite Solutions

The first place winner, Flagsuit LLC, received a $5,000 cash prize courtesy
of the Heinlein Trust and will have the opportunity to present their vision to
entrepreneurs and investors alike at Space Investment Summit 7 on
September 30th in Boston and attend an upcoming Space Angels Network
event. Courtesy of, Flagsuit will also receive a three
month membership to the Space Angels Network website, 2 tickets to any
one of their 15 VC conferences held annually nationwide (including
attendance in their workshop), and the FundingPost Developed
publication, “How to Raise Your First Million Dollars.”

Flagsuit, LLC Company Description:
Affordable spacesuits will transform the emerging private
spaceflight industry by making it practical for humans to utilize
cheap access to space. Flagsuit LLC is seeking funding to develop
a hyperbaric (pressurized) suit with excellent mobility at a price that
enables affordable spacesuits. The same product will fill a non-
space consumer need for a mobile chamber for hyperbaric oxygen
therapy, creating a convenient way for people to treat and prevent
disease. By pursuing both markets, risk from low early demand in
the emerging spaceflight market is mitigated, positive cash flow is
reached sooner, and Flagsuit becomes well positioned to deliver
space qualified hyperbaric suits once that market solidifies.
Syntiant, Inc Company Description:

Syntiant will create a unique platform based on:
• SynseVisionTM Virtual Visionware:  a pair of glasses containing
bio-feedback technology, GPS, Bluetooth, and stereo HD
cameras.  Data is captured and transmitted to Syntiant’sTM
virtual world for 3D reconstruction so others can plug-in and
experience the user’s vision and bio-response virtually.

• Syntiant’sTM virtual world will offer 3D gesture-based data
manipulation (as seen in Minority Report) to create an intuitive,
easy-to-use navigation system.  This overlay will permit a user
to organize his or her data in 3D mind maps, navigate social
media sites in a 3D gesture-based environment, and add
immersive virtual reality 3D to gaming environments.
• Base services are free as long as the user donates 5 hours per
day of unused computing time to Syntiant’sTM Global
Supercomputing Grid.  The more computing time users donate,
the more energy credits they earn to buy additional SyntiantsTM
products and services.

The Space Fontier Foundation extends a sincere “Thank You” to all of this
year’s finalists!

Aeronautic Enterprises
Aerospace Technologies
Flagsuit, LLC
Next Giant Leap
PD Aerospace
Santa Clara Satellite
Thunderbird Communications

If you have a business plan that you would like considered for the
NewSpace 2010 Business Plan competition, please watch for updates on
next year’s schedule and submission deadlines at the Space Frontier
Foundation website.
Please note that 62MileClub’s Robert Jacobson was one of the judges for the 2009 business plan competition.

Space Investment Summit 7 is just around the corner and 62MileClub is a proud sponsor of this event. We are still accepting business plans which will be pre-screened for presentation at the Summit in Boston.

Space Investment Summit 7

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
8:15 am – 6:30 pm
Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts

This event is complimentary for accredited investors.


Summit Details

Entrepreneurial Business Plan Submission.  Companies interested in presenting their business plans at the Summit are welcome to submit an application for judging. Applications are accepted and screened on a “first-come-first-screened” basis and selections to present are made now through the end of August, 2009.  Early submissions are encouraged.
Applications available at

Entrepreneurial Reception and Exhibition.  The Summit will also include an exhibition of selected business plans and featured entrepreneurs.  Entrepreneurs may be invited to 1) present a plan during the Summit and display the plan at the exhibition or 2) provide a display only at the exhibition.  Exhibits will be limited to 6’ table top displays.

Pre-Qualified Judging Criteria. A panel of investors and space commerce experts will evaluate applications, select top candidates and invite the entrepreneurs selected to present their business plans and/or a display at the exhibition.  Market areas to be considered include space transportation, satellite services, tourism, media, advertising, biotech, pharmaceuticals, materials and others.  Crucial selection criteria are business plan quality and evidence of existing seed/angel investor interest.  Of special interest are innovative business plans for enterprises that address markets: (1) in space; (2) enabled by space; (3) now commercially productive but which include an incremental plan for activities extending into space; and (4) that present the space experience.

Summit Location.  SIS-7 will be held at the Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115.

Registration Fee.  $250 for all non-investor attendees.  Investors receive complimentary registration.  Includes admission to all panel sessions, business plan presentations, networking lunch and networking reception/exhibit.

Business Plan Entrepreneur Registration and Presentation Fee$750 for each business plan selected for presentation to the Summit display at the exhibition (includes one complimentary attendee registration, business plan presentation and table display at the networking reception and exhibit).

Press Release Oshkosh/Abu Dhabi, 28th July 2009: Aabar Investments and Virgin Group

Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments and Virgin Group
today announced that they have agreed to enter a strategic partnership, which will see Aabar
take an equity stake in the world’s first commercial spaceline – Virgin Galactic. To date,
Virgin Galactic has been wholly owned and funded by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

The deal, signed today at the EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin attended by
Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, and Mohamed Badawy Al-Husseiny, CEO of
Aabar. The signing ceremony is taking place alongside Virgin Galactic’s new carrier space
launch vehicle, WhiteKnightTwo (VMS Eve) which is making its public demonstration flying
debut in Oshkosh.

Under the deal, Aabar will invest approximately US$280m and take around a 32% stake in
Virgin Galactic’s holding company, valuing the business at about $900m. The transaction is
subject to obtaining regulatory clearances in the United States and elsewhere.  Additionally,
Aabar has committed $100m (plus transaction cost) to fund a small satellite launch capability,
subject to the development of a full business plan. It will also gain exclusive regional rights,
subject to regulatory clearances, to host Virgin Galactic tourism and scientific research space
flights. Finally, Aabar has plans to build spaceport facilities in Abu Dhabi.

Commenting on the acquisition, HE Khadem Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Aabar, said, “I am
pleased to announce this partnership. Virgin Galactic is the leader in the realm of space
tourism, having successfully established a potential global market for its offering in a very
short span of time. Aabar’s stake in Virgin Galactic will open a new avenue of opportunity for
Abu Dhabi in this unique and dynamic business. The significant partnership not only falls in
line with Abu Dhabi’s larger plans to inculcate technology research and science at a
grassroots level but also complements its aim to be the international tourism capital of the

Virgin Galactic is in the final stages of developing and testing commercial sub-orbital space
vehicles based on the prototype SpaceShipOne, that flew successfully to space and back three
times in 2004. The unique and innovative designs of the vehicles will transform the cost,
safety and environmental impact of access to space for people, science research and

Sir Richard Branson said, “We are delighted to partner with Aabar in a strategic deal that is a
first for Virgin Galactic. The initiative will leverage the solid financial backing of Aabar and
the pioneering technology and strong global relationships of Virgin Galactic. This exciting
deal is indicative of the interesting and high value investments that mark the UAE’s
commercial portfolio.”

The new joint venture also proposes to undertake additional development which would enable
the space system to launch small satellites at unprecedented levels of cost, reliability and

“This transaction carries multiple potential for the creation of an exceptional platform for
space infrastructure such as research labs, space centre for commercial travel and much
more,” said Mohamed Badawy Al-Husseiny.

Virgin Group has invested over $100m in Virgin Galactic since its formation in late 2004.
The development of its new vehicles is being carried out by Scaled Composites, the renowned
Mojave CA based aeronautical firm, owned by Northrop Grumman and led by Burt Rutan.

Scaled Composites was responsible for designing and building SpaceShipOne which won the
$10m X Prize in 2004 as the first privately funded manned space vehicle. The system is
highly innovative: it utilises a carrier aircraft for launch of the spaceship at high altitude, a
controllable and benign hybrid rocket motor and a unique wing feathering design for a
failsafe re-entry. The spaceship makes a runway landing rendering it almost entirely reusable.

The new commercial vehicles are now at an advanced stage of development. VMS Eve, VG’s
new carrier aircraft is well into its test flight programme and is performing flawlessly.  It is
the world’s largest all carbon composite aircraft and has a unique high altitude, heavy lift
capability.  Sir Richard Branson is due to be onboard VMS Eve as a member of the crew for a
demonstration flight during EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh on Tuesday 28th July.

The new spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo will commence its own test flight programme before the
end of 2009.  Both vehicles offer a unique environment for space tourism and a wide range of
science research applications as well as a platform for small satellite launch.

Patrick McCall, the Virgin Group Commercial Director responsible for the transaction said,
“We are building a great partnership for the development of the world’s first private sector
integrated human and payload space launch system. All of us at Virgin Galactic are very
much looking forward to working with Aabar’s Chairman, HE Khadem Al Qubaisi, its CEO
Mohamed Badawy Al-Husseiny and the whole Aabar team as we move forward together at
the cutting edge of the coming industrial revolution in space access. I would also like to take
this opportunity to thank Brandt Mowry, the senior vice-president of corporate development
who managed the transaction on behalf of Virgin Group.”

Virgin Galactic expects the capital infusion to fully fund the company through to its
commencement of commercial operations.

Credit Suisse acted as the exclusive financial advisor and placement agent to Virgin Galactic
regarding the transaction.

About Aabar
Aabar Investments PJSC is an investment company headquartered in Abu Dhabi and is on the
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. It directly invests in various sectors including energy,
infrastructure, real estate, automotive and financial services companies. Its largest shareholder
is the International Petroleum Investment Company, which in turn is wholly owned by the
Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

About Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic was launched by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group in 2004 with the
objective of developing commercial space vehicles which would transform the safety, cost
and environmental impact associated with access to space. As well as offering 1000’s of
ordinary people the chance to experience space for themselves, the system will be used for
space and high altitude science research and potentially developed to launch small satellites.
In the future the company expects to move on to the development of orbital vehicles capable
of carrying people, including the possibility of offering very fast trans –continental flights
around the planet.

Virgin Galactic’s vehicles use the design and technology developed by the renowned
aeronautical engineer, Burt Rutan, for SpaceShipOne, which as the world’s first privately
built manned spaceship, flew safely to space and back three times in 2004.

This remarkable and unique project is now in its final stages with the test flight programme of
the commercial vehicles underway. Already, approximately 300 people from around the
world have paid approaching $40m in deposits, representing $60m of ticket sales, to
guarantee an early seat.

Virgin Galactic’s guiding star is safety. In addition to a system that is proven and safer by
design, the vehicles are being put through a comprehensive and exhaustive test flight
programme before the inaugural commercial flight takes place on which Sir Richard Branson
and his family will fly.

Virgin Galactic astronauts will be prepared and trained for an experience of sensory overload,
from the incredible acceleration at launch through to the “out of seat” zero gravity
experienced in the blackness of space whilst looking through large windows at the
breathtaking views of the Blue Planet below.

All of Virgin Galactic’s first astronauts will be pioneers in a new industry which in the future
will allow us to make better use of space to improve life here on Earth.

For further details and assets covering the investor announcement go to

Perhaps today’s successful launch by Space X, has inspired you to finally begin work on your start-up. A common question is how and who is going to pay for it. Enjoy this practical tutorial on star-up fund raising and may all your startup dreams come true.

Falcon 1 delivers first payload to orbit

Falcon 1 delivers first payload to orbit

Dragon Module

Dragon Module

Space Investment Summit 7
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
8:15 am – 6:30 pm

Hynes Convention Center
Boston, Massachusetts

Overview of event here.

Additional sponsorship opportunities still available.


Boeing, Posternak,Eads Astrium,Ecliptic Enterprises, 62MileClub

I made a stop into Gotham recently for the  2009 Space Business Forum presented by The Space Foundation in association with Toffler Associates (a strategic consulting firm).

After a networking break fast, the day started welcome remarks by Hoyt Davidson Managing Memnber of Near Earth, LLC who specializes in telecom, satellite and media investment banking and Lon Levin, President of SkySeven ventures which works with, helps manage, and invests in new technology companies, particularly space-based businesses. Levin notably was a co-founder of XM Satellite Radio.

The opening Keynote was given by Tom Hendricks, President of Aviation Week who emphasized how large and wide the space industry is.

Highlights from Tom’s Keynote:

  • ” Space business is growing and prospering.”
  • The U.S. Space Industry employs more than 262,00 people.
  • 2007 revenues were $251 Billion and in 2008 revenues were $257 billion. Slower growth is expected between 2009-2010 but growth is still expected in weak economy.

First panel of day

Sector Performance, Trends, and Expectations

With more than 70 percent of global space revenues now generated by the commercial space sector, understanding how space sectors are differentiated and what trends and expectations characterize the sectors is key to analyzing, rating and forecasting what’s ahead for established players, new ventures and entrepreneurs alike.



  • Mr. Andrew D. Africk, Senior Partner, Apollo Management, L.P.
  • Ms. Heidi Wood, Managing Director and Senior Equity Analyst, Aerospace, Defense and Defense Electronics, Morgan Stanley

Highlights from pane which was mostly focused on satellite companies but there was reference made to ‘New Space’ efforts.

  • Wood said that Aerospace is traditionally a long cycle business.
  • Potential  upside on NASA related to Obama administration.
  • “Wall Street interested in new ideas, sizzle.”
  • Early stage (space) companies are not yet ready for public markets.
  • Need innovators. Roots and learning curve need to be more embedded.
  • One purpose of this forum is to educate NYC finance about space.
  • Communication Satellite sector currently has most investor comfort followed by mobile satellite and then more satellite integration services.
  • Communication (satellite) market is a volume based business
  • Financing New Space deals will still be challenging until revenue models become predictable.

Key Question regarding if space is yet big enough to attract retail investors and if not, what does the industry need to do?

For space to have broad based, retail investors, space industry needs to do  the following:

  • Do a better job at making the esoteric understandable.
  • Become  more mainstream (i.e.Apple’s Ipod).
  • Creation of direct applications that would excite the markets.

Second panel of day




  • Space will become more and more an integral part of the next generation.
  • Space could connect emerging economies.
  • High speed Internet access, teleeducatiaon, telemedicine enabled by space assets.
  • Leveraging space so that we and our businesses can operate more efficiently.
  • Obama Administation has begun space policy review.

Featured Speaker

Mr. Thomas B. Pickens III, President and Chief Executive Officer, Astrotech Corporation


  • Saving Lives on Earth by developing products in space
  • Astrogenix is an International Space Station National Lab Pathfinder bsuiness which gives it access to the Space Station.
  • Astrotech has studied over 2000 space manufacturing experiments to see what does and does not work; Salmonella vaccine target identified; researching MRSA.
  • Vaccines could cost less to develop in space.
  • Sub-orbital vehicle systems could be used for short term micro-gravity experiments in such areas as  metallurgy.

I was unable to stay for the afternoon session but there is an excellent newsletter available for down from our friends at Near Earth,LLC available here (From the Ground Up, June 2009).

Afternoon sessions See Near Earth LLC newsletter available the link above for highlights.

New Space Comes of Age
No longer the strictly the province of traditional corporate giants, “new space companies” are finding their space technology and business successes. This panel draws together some of the most notable of the new crop of companies who are changing the face and the practices of the space market.


The Business of Space Tourism

Two high profile space travel business experts will discuss the financial opportunities of private space travel. This lucrative industry is already an almost $40 million business with the potential to increase more than 10-fold in the near future.

  • Mr. Richard Garriott, Entrepreneur, Famed Video Game Developer, and Private Space Explorer
  • Mr. Tom Shelley, Vice President of Marketing, Space Adventures, Ltd.

Featured Speaker – View from the Publically Traded

Government Acquisition – Where Are Dollars Flowing for Space?

Reprising one of last year’s most popular panel discussions, some of the largest government procurers of space systems, services and hardware take a look ahead at which space business opportunities will command the attention and shape future business opportunities for the traditional aerospace sector in years to come.



  • Mr. Ken Davidian, EFP Program Lead, Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Commercial Space Transportation
  • Mr. Alan Ladwig, Senior Advisor, NASA Headquarters
  • Mr. Gary E. Payton, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for Space Programs
  • Ms. Maureen Wylie, Chief Financial Officer, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration

I’d recommend this forum to those who want a broad overview of financial issues related to the broader space market including but not limited to New Space, Satellite, and government involvement. Let’s hope the excitement and interests builds for this and similar events, so that space can be seen less as a black  unknowable void and more as an potential enabler of  new wealth creation here for us down on Earth.

Dr. Paul Eckert

Recent interview with Dr. Paul Eckert about the series of Space Investment Summits that are have been hosted across the U.S.

Check out the strong line up of speakers at the 2nd annual Space Business Forum presented by The Space Foundation this Thursday in New York City.

Highlights include:

* Networking Opportunities
* Top Industry Leaders and Analysts
* Keynote Luncheon
* Convenient New York City location

From our friends at Space Angels Network.

“Join us(Space Angels Network) for a unique half-day event designed to bring together selected emerging aerospace ventures with an exclusive group of early-stage investors interested in aerospace opportunities.”

Space Angels Network Managing Director, Guillermo Söhnlein, added ” please note that one of our members, Brian Hall, will give a briefing on his new company, Airship Ventures space-angels-network-press-release-032309

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