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Guest: Bruce Pittman; Topics: An overview of NewSpace business trends and opportunities, the emerging markets, and more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.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. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed Bruce Pittman back to the program to discuss NewSpace commercial business trends, developing opportunities, capital concerns and much more. During the first segment of our 89 minute discussion, I asked Bruce to provide us with an overview of NewSpace trends and business opportunities. Our guest commented that these were very exciting times and then talked about the small satellite industry, the increasing availability of capital and then he addressed commercial changes in the launch industry. During our discussion, Bruce named several companies, talked about their growth so far, the merger and acquisitions going on in the industry, and the ROI potential. Take note of the companies mentioned as many have been guest on The Space Show.
Bruce further identified opportunities arising from the Google Lunar XPrize competition, the emergence of deep space mining, and the development of probable commercial space stations and on orbit habs via Bigelow and Axiom Space. He further mentioned our friends at Made In Space getting a ZBLAN fiber optics experiment up to the ISS ( http://madeinspace.us/mis-fiber). Bruce also mentioned a new protein crystal growth experiment on the ISS for Parkinson's Disease. He talked about lunar architecture and water development, then he mentioned the start of a cislunar economy. I asked him about the ground station business that is developing for turnkey small satellite communications.
Jack in Albq, NM asked why young entrepreneurs want to do a space startup? Bruce offered some ideas on why but interesting making huge amounts of money was not always a top priority. Don't miss what he said about this. He cited further company examples in this discussion. As part of this mini-discussion, I asked Bruce about the sometimes objective of the NewSpace entrepreneurs to make a difference or change the world. In response, Bruce talked about big visions, individual and company goals and he cited examples including Jeff Bezos.
A listener in Phoenix asked Bruce what he would advise high school seniors coming to see him as their guidance counselor. The listener wanted to know if Bruce would suggest a commercial space career. Don't miss what Bruce said about this, the story he told us about his own experience with his guidance counselor, and the study of different engineering disciplines. Before the first segment ended, Bruce was asked if he thought the trends now in play for the emerging commercial space industry would be long term or a bubble. Again, don't miss his reply and his examples.
Listener Jim in Memphis wanted to know about commercial human spaceflight opportunities. Randy in Cleveland wanted to know if new developments with Crisper, AI, 3D printing and more were starting to show up in the new commercial space industries. Don't miss what Bruce said in response to Jim's question. Also check out the website he mentioned, www.frontieredevelopmentlab.org for the NASA Frontier Development Lab.
Jim Crisafulli called from Hawaii to promote the upcoming Hawaiian International Moonbase Summit. Check it out at https://moonbasesummit.com. I understand it may be live streamed through Skype so if this interests you and you want more information, please contact Jim. Jim's email address is on the Contact page, https://moonbasesummit.com/contact, just scroll down to the list of organizers and directors. Jim is the first one listed. As it turns out, Bruce is a major speaker and contributor to this important event so Bruce also addressed this conference. He said he was wearing his NSS hat so don't miss his comments and his explanation of his perspective for the Moon.
In the second segment, I asked Bruce about crowd funding opportunities arising from the NewSpace sector. We talked crowd funding, Bruce pointed out why it was significant and we talked about possible equity crowd funding ventures though neither one of us have yet seen such a venture. Don't miss what he had to say about crow funding and its added value, especially for angel and VC financing.
Dr. Doug sent in two email questions. He was questioning or maybe inquiring is a better word, about the commercial space path that would lead to space settlement. He based his question on the cost for ride share as compared to paying market prices for launch services when using dedicated small commercial launchers. I added some comments to Doug's initial question. Bruce thought the reality would be a combination of market price and ride share but was not sure just what market price would actually turn out being. Make sure you hear the response Bruce offered Doug. As part of Doug's line of questioning, I asked Bruce if cislunar economic development was part of an essential commercial space path to space settlement. Bruce said it would depend on where the space settlement might be located but again, don't miss all of what he said on this topic.
Linda sent in a note asking Bruce if there was anything commercial in the pipeline for Mars development. Bruce had much to say about this, explained why Mars was on a longer timeline, talked about the ease of the Moon, it being only 3 days from Earth and that it would be easier to get a lander on the Moon such as the Blue Moon lander being developed by Blue Origin. Bruce said the Moon would be a training ground for Mars.
I asked Bruce if he thought NewSpace was developed enough for him to start seeing secrecy in deals, lots of NDA type of projects and more. His response to my question may surprise you. Don't miss it. Bruce then mentioned that there were lots of government R&D programs for startups and he urged these businesses to not overlook these government funding opportunities.
Before the program ended, we talked about suborbital space opportunities and economics. Don't miss what Bruce had to say about this industry segment. I then asked him if would ride in the Blue capsule to space given it was pilotless. He said he would. We talked about driverless cars and this emerging technology. I said I would be skeptical and reluctant to do it. The final topic was ISDC 2018 at the Sheraton LAX Hotel over Memorial Day next year. You can find out more about ISDC 2018 at the ISS website, www.nss.org.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS website blog for this show. You can reach Bruce through me.