Analyst Says Several Companies Could Turn Profits Relatively
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
Investor's Business Daily reports the new era of commercial
spaceflight has yet to attract meaningful participation by venture
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
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
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