October 2009

Space Angels Network: Aerospace Venture Forum
Thursday, October 22

Join 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.  In this unique Forum, you will find pre-screened investment opportunities, hear presentations from the entrepreneurs, and then meet with them at their exhibit tables. We will end the morning with an “investors only” closed-door review of the presenting ventures followed by lunch with the entrepreneurs.

7:30am-8:00am            Registration, Continental Breakfast & Networking
8:00am-8:15am             Welcoming Remarks
8:15am-11:15am           Company Presentations
11:15pm-12:00pm         Deal Roundtable (investors only)
12:00pm-1:00pm           Lunch with Entrepreneurs

The Proud Bird
11022 Aviation Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045-6187

Registration:  http://spaceangelsnetwork.eventbrite.com/

Space Angels Network is a professionally managed member-led national network of accredited investors focused on aerospace-related opportunities.  For information about becoming a Member of Space Angels Network, please visit our Web site, www.spaceangelsnetwork.com, or contact us directly at members@spaceangelsnetwork.com

Source: Florida Today

Frank DiBello, President of Space Florida, interviewed in Florida Today and talks about jobs, the space industry, New Space, and more.

Last week, I flew out to Boston for Space Investment Summit 7 hosted at the Hynes Convention Center where over 120 entrepreneurs, investors, and space professionals gathered for a day of high level networking, business plan presentations, and panels.  62MileClub has been a proud sponsor of the past several summits and this summit.

Commercial space markets panel at SIS 7

Commercial space markets panel at SIS 7

Some facts &  take-aways

  • Total attendance: 126 including over 3 dozen accredited investors
  • Entrepreneurs might want to consider near term revenue opportunities to entice investment rather than solely relying on the pot at the end of the rainbow.
  • Interest in pursuing space related entrepreneurship increasing  but good investors prefer quality business plans over quantity.
  • There has been success in public private partnerships (Mod & COTS).
  • NASA has transitioned at least one program to the private sector (Ad Astra’s Vasimr technology).
  • U.S.A must continue to have some type of manned space program because to “extend human civilization beyond Earth and that this will fist occur on Mars” (Jeff Greason, member of Presidential appointed Augustine Commission).
  • Investing in industry is occurring but has slowed down to economic environment.

Jeff Greason's time on the Augustine Commission

Jeff Greason's time on the Augustine Commission

Post media coverage
·         Wall Street Journal
·         Associated Press
·         WBZ News Radio Radio interview with Tom Kennedy and Kevin J. O’Connell
·         Boston Globe
·         Technology Review
·         New Scientist
·         The Space Review
·         Space Politics

Although I’ve participated in several of these summits, I still each of these summits especially valuable in learning about issues surrounding the commercialization of  space. Archived slides from presentations and videos will be available on the Space Investment Summit website at some point in the coming weeks.

Consider joining us at Space Investment Summit 8 on May 26, 2010 in Chicago, IL. The summit will be followed by National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference.

The Associated Press

As Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte prepares for his trip to the International Space Station, here’s a look at the colorful men and one woman who have purchased seats on Russian space flights.

DENNIS TITO: This California multimillionaire blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in April 2001 to become the 415th person in space — and the first one to pay for doing it. He reportedly wrote a $20 million check for the eight-day trip. Tito, who was 60 when he flew to space, had a degree in astronautics, but made a fortune in investment management.

MARK SHUTTLEWORTH: In 2002, the South African software millionaire spent 11 days aboard the space station, where he had a radio conversation with Nelson Mandela and politely rejected a marriage proposal from a terminally ill 14-year old South African girl.

For full story go here.


What is a space elevator?

From Wikipedia

A space elevator is a proposed structure designed to transport material from a celestial body‘s surface into space. Many variants have been proposed, all of which involve traveling along a fixed structure instead of using rocket powered space launch. The concept most often refers to a structure that reaches from the surface of the Earth on or near the Equator to geostationary orbit (GSO) and a counter-mass beyond.

The concept of a space elevator dates back to 1895 when Konstantin Tsiolkovsky proposed a free-standing “Tsiolkovsky” tower reaching from the surface of Earth to geostationary orbit. Most recent discussions focus on tensile structures (specifically, tethers) reaching from geostationary orbit to the ground. This structure would be held in tension between Earth and the counterweight in space like a guitar string held taut. Space elevators have also sometimes been referred to as beanstalks, space bridges, space lifts, space ladders, skyhooks, orbital towers, or orbital elevators.

Current technology is not capable of manufacturing practical engineering materials that are sufficiently strong and light to build an Earth-based space elevator. The primary issue is that the total mass of conventional materials needed to construct such a structure would be so great that the cable would break under its own weight. Recent conceptualizations for a space elevator are notable in their plans to use carbon nanotube-based materials as the tensile element in the tether design, since the measured strength of microscopic carbon nanotubes appears great enough to make this theoretically possible. Current technology could produce elevators for locations in the solar system with weaker gravitational fields, such as the Moon or Mars.[3]


Space elevators tend to be one of those polarizing topics in the New Space Community. Below are several articles discussing the Space Elevator.

Space Elevator Faces Reality (from MSNBC’s Cosmiclog by Alan Boyle)

Paper Critiques Space Elevator and Scientists Overstate Their Case by Anthony Kendall

Landers Scmanders by Simberg

I attended this event in NYC last June which was presented by the Space Foundation in association with Toffler Associates and supported by Aviation Week. Toffler Associates created a “Black-and-White Paper” which is a culmination of  discussion around the time of the conference. Toffler hopes that “help  leaders think in new ways about what actions are most vital to take to secure the future of America’s space innovation.”

Feel free to circulate and if you have any questions regarding this paper, please send them to Deborah Westphal,Managing Partner, at Toffler Associates.


The runway at Spaceport America in New Mexico is currently under construction.

Animation depicting the construction of the International Space Station.


The 2005 NASA Authorization Act designated the U.S segment of the ISS as a national laboratory and directed NASA to develop a plan to “increase the utilization of the ISS by other Federal entities and the private sector…” As the Nation’s newest national laboratory, the ISS will further strengthen relationships among NASA, other Federal entities, and private sector leaders in the pursuit of national priorities for the advancement of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The ISS National Laboratory will also open new paths for the exploration and economic development of Space.

1.  The National Laboratory concept is an opportunity to expand the US economy in space-based research, applications and operations.

2.  The International Space Station represents a unique and highly visible national asset with surplus capacity available for a wide spectrum of applications.

3.  NASA will continue to cover cost of operating and maintaining the ISS, and is highly motivated to work with other agencies and organizations to pursue applications.

One company that intends to take advantage of ISS’s National lab status is Astrogenetix led by Thomas B. Pickens III.

I was in Boston this week for Space Invesment Summit 7. Videos from the event will be available in the next few weeks on the website.

SIS 8 will be hosted in Chicago at the end of May. If you are an investor or entrepreneur and want to learn more about investing in the private space sector, this one day summit is not to be missed.

Soyuz docking with ISS

Soyuz docking with ISS

In case you had not heard, Cirque Du Solel co-founder Guy Labierte flew on a Russian Soyuz earlier this week to the International Space Station.

Related articles and videos

Soyuz docking with ISS

Soyuz docking with ISS

Guy’s trip blog

Guy’s One Drop Foundation (note there is a web broadcasted event on 10/9/09 from the ISS)

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