Andrew M. Thorpe

Andrew M. Thorpe began his technical career studying astronomy while going to college in New Jersey. He entered the business world as a researcher in material science laboratories where he developed polymers for the coming age of microelectronics and environmentalism. Responding to the Montreal Protocol in the late 1980s, Andrew worked with a team that redesigned foam packaging to be free of ozone depleting CFCs. He then switched to technical advisement, where he consulted with customers on the benefits of new environmentally friendly solvents, gases and polymers for the microelectronics industry. In this rich business environment, engineers and technicians in the aerospace, pharmaceutical, optical, semiconductor, and satellite communication industries, enlisted his advice on how to keep fragile equipment free of damaging microcontamination. In the early 1990s, Andrew began publishing articles in national science magazines on such diverse topics as global warming, oil spill containment, reusable launch vehicles, astronomy, and extraterrestrial life. He also began developing collaboration software to export his knowledge to his clients and colleagues. After a long stint of consulting in Manhattan’s financial district, he relocated in Arizona, where he now develops software for a pharmaceutical firm to help lower the cost of prescription drugs. In the evenings, he still studies the skies in the belief that we will affordably colonize space in our lifetime. His two recent books, “The Commercial Space Age” (2003) and “The Commercial Space Station” (2007) explore the current and future methods of doing business in near Earth space. (see for descriptions).

Broadcast 961 (Special Edition)

Guest : Andrew Thorpe, author of "The Commercial Space Station: Methods and Markets" was the guest for this Space Show program. To learn more about Andrew's books and work, please visit his website: We began our discussion with Andrew explaining why the current ISS is not the commercial space station he talks about in his book. You will want to hear this distinction. We then discussed a series of potential markets in space including microgravity, protein crystal growth, space tourism, and more.

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