Commercial Space Travel Too Risky For Venture Capitalists? | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 08.20.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 08.20.14 **
** Airborne 08.18.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 08.18.14 **
** Airborne 08.15.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 08.15.14 **

Tue, Apr 15, 2008

Commercial Space Travel Too Risky For Venture Capitalists?

Analyst Says Several Companies Could Turn Profits Relatively Soon

There have been many parallels noted between the high-tech boom of the late 90s, and what many expect will be the coming boom in commercial space exploration and tourism. But so far, there's one big difference.

Investor's Business Daily reports the new era of commercial spaceflight has yet to attract meaningful participation by venture capital firms.

It's not for lack of promising business plans. George Whitesides, executive director of the National Space Society, notes "Space is not cheap... but if you look at the business models, some of these companies could be making money relatively quickly."

So far, the money driving the commercial space projects underway has come from veterans of the tech sector... no strangers to taking big risks, or in weathering setbacks.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has $30 million invested in Scaled Composites, much of which came in to fund SpaceShipOne, the winner of the $10 million Ansari X-Prize. PayPal co-founder Elon Musk has more than $100 million of his personal fortune in Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, which is building rockets for space travel.

Last year, Google announced the Google Lunar X Prize, offering $30 million in prize money for teams that successfully land a robot on the moon.

Peter Diamandis, chairman of the X Prize Foundation, says 10 teams have signed up so far, and another 10 likely will. He expects the 20 teams collectively will spend more than $400 million on the contest.

Guillermo Sohnlein, co-founder of Space Angels Network, which helps commercial space ventures find funding, observed the efficiency of the X Prize in moving the sector forward. "All they had to do was dangle $30 million dollars in prize money and they get maybe a half-billion dollars in innovation. Where else could you get that kind of return?"

Analysts agree that some successful headlines from private space companies could get the attention of venture capital firms, and start the money flowing soon.

Get their attention? Gee... if only there was some way to combine the excitement of kerosene-liquid-oxygen rockets with the proven model of NASCAR. Hmmm...

FMI: www.scaled.com, www.spacex.com, www.xprize.org

Advertisement

More News

Barnstorming: Time Flies...

In Fond Remembrance Of My Dear Vicki, Five Years Since Her Loss Hi Folks... In the last five years, you and I have been through a lot. We've watched the fortunes of the aviation wo>[...]

Aero-TV: Honoring Our Legacy - Recrafting Paul’s Game-Changing Baby Ace

A Bit Of History Lovingly Restored To The Sport Aviation World ANN's Michael Maya Charles had to search around at EAA AirVenture 2014 to find this story. The Aeroplane Factory buil>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (08.22.14)

International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians The International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians (IFFR) is a group of Rotarians dedicated to promoting Rotary and aviation as an opport>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (08.22.14): Feeder Facilities

Used by ATC to direct aircraft to intervening fixes between the en route structure and the initial approach fix.>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (08.22.14)

"We pause to remember the life and legacy of an American hero. Bernie's life is an inspiration to those who met him and to all Airmen who will continue to hear his story. Source: C>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC