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Wrap Up

Joe Pistritto: We have a couple teams (Virgin and XCOR) that are planning to fly in a couple years, about the same time as the Shuttle is retired. At that point, the NewSpace industry will be the only way that Americans can get into space, and in that first year more people may fly into space on the new vehicles than have flown in space to date. At that point everyone in the country will have a better idea what this new industry does.

Henry Vanderbilt: Also, they'll see that there is a horse race. A year or two ago it was assumed that Virgin would be first to market. That's no longer the case.

Joe: There are going to be different types of experiences at different price points, and as the horse race becomes more clear, it will expose the business to a lot of potential investors who haven't been paying attention up to now. This is good not just for investment, but for creating a supply chain of suppliers that are needed. Still thinks that this is an individual investor market. Venture funds can't justify this investment in the current business environment. Can do it with their own money, but not someone else's. For someone with their own money, there's no industry that is more exciting than this one.

Henry: Not important who comes in first. Emphasis needs to be that there is competition and that we're in for exciting times.

Muncy: Difference between spaceflight participants (passengers) and Russ Blink strapping on an oxygen tank and flying out of the atmosphere on an Armadillo vehicle. Markets are wonderful magical things. We have no idea what the possibilities are (who knew that someone would program Doom eventually when Bill Gates said 640K would be plenty). Smart guys in the military might figure out what to do with these things once they're flying. NASA may want to replace the T-38s now that they're not flying the Shuttle any more (I think he means Gulfstream), or they might want to practice lunar simulations.

Challenge is to figure out how to get customers interested beyond the tourist flights. It will be different flying in the back of SpaceShipTwo than flying in the cockpit of the Lynx. We'll see what the market wants. Lord willing the market will want both, and other flavors. The good things about markets is that if you offer something out there of value, it will be rewarded. Thinking about package tours of all the vehicles: Grand Slam of rockets.


At that point, I got pulled up to join the panel by Muncy, so I couldn't blog it.

Anyway, another conference is history. More thoughts later.


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Andy wrote:


Not entirely accurate: for better or worse, Americans will continue to fly in space with the Russians.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on March 29, 2008 5:35 PM.

Want To Poke Anti-War Hollywood In The Eye? was the previous entry in this blog.

Heading Back To LA is the next entry in this blog.

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