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What financial barriers, it's all down to risk.

Posted by: Sean Girling - Wed Jul 30, 2003 10:18 am
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What financial barriers, it's all down to risk. 
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Post What financial barriers, it's all down to risk.   Posted on: Wed Jul 30, 2003 10:18 am
The financial barriers (in my opinion) are falsely perceived. The finance is available, but the risk is thought to be high. Consequently, insurance is hugely expensive (if available at all), and with a limited number of players, the availability is low too. This means that to place a ten tonne object in orbit you have to go to the big Goliath’s of the space industry or the flakies, pay through the nose, and have to wait so long, that your object is obsolete before it's launched. Should an independent company start to offer access to space, then the risk will reduce, the lead times will be cut, the industry will mature, and more money can be made. More money means more investment, which breeds improvements all round.

Ah hey, I'm an optimist.

Someone once wrote, "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."

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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 08, 2003 3:27 pm
Indeed, "With perserverance the needle digs the well."

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Post    Posted on: Mon Apr 05, 2004 11:12 pm
Sean Girling wrote:
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."


I love this statement. It's similar to the over used statement "where there's a will there's a way." This is what I choose to live by, since it encompasses the aspect of innovation and creative thinking along with persistence and determination.

It interests me that this forum (financial barriers to space travel) is one of the least posted in, yet is one of the most important in the future of private space development.

Whether you work backward: intesteller travel > requires interplanetary travel > requires low cost earth to orbit. Or forward X-Prize suborbital > X-Prize Orbital > Interplanetary > Interstellar

You end up with one conclusion. There has to be a financial reason to do any of this. X-Prize tells us that the reason for sub-orbital is tourism, I certainly hope so. We'll see.

The basis behind Orbital is obvious, although, will there be a continueing demand for satellite launches? I'm hesitant to list NASA or the ISS as orbital customers. The costs behind developing orbital flight are so high however that it may require a new direction. Multiple X-Prize entries combining?

Now interplanetary. Hmm, that's a long way off, so hard to predict demand. But many people are talking about mining asteroids. Is this viable? Has research been done?

In terms of interstellar travel, I can't see a possible financial reason to do this. But frankly I'd be happy to see private interplanetary travel in my lifetime.

So all you need to do to achieve these steps is prove scientifically, and more importantly, financially that these reasons are true business benefits. Put together some good cost-benefit analyses and the investment will flow.

It really is that simple.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:45 am
Risk is a hurdle - but its only a risk, how many times have we heard 'to make money you have to spend money??
Identifying the risk will always make it somewhat less risky :)

Lets face it, people will throw money at something only if they can make more money from it.
That’s the unfortunate society we live in. However that said, I think if the 'face' of space travel & utilization of both craft and bodies (moons, space rocks)) within space should be manipulated in a way that the capitalistic minds will receive it, and see the infinite potential to humanity & our finite resources – then genuine interest will appear, then we will see the money.
I believe I am stating the obvious and to an extent, practice already in place, but what more can be done about it?
I think education is king.
Lets not forget that some MD’s, CEO's of super powerful & f500 companies that seriously, will be required for the type of funds the industry requires, have witnessed a lot of change in their lives - this whole 'Space Movement thing' is just another.
I think identifying associated risks with rewards encompassed with the vision of 'early potentials' are perhaps not being received well.
Peter D I'm sorry if I am wrong.
Asking for and getting money shouldn't be an issue if the product is presented in such a way, that achievable goals and ultimately 'returns on investment' can be outlined, even if for a brief period/timeframe.
As posted earlier, incremental steps should be clearly outlined. From how I see it, initially, its going to be a glorified Travel industry with some haulage interests. And that’s fine - But lets sell it for that - what it’s going to be.
Why would, for arguments sake a Global pharmaceutical Company invest in the above - What would be their trigger to invest millions?
Possibly in 30 years pharmaceuticals would benefit from development in space, however that’s probably not in the time frame a CEO really wants to hear - what’s in it for them now + 5 years.?
Their name on the side of the plane / booster?
How about trying to get them interested into say Travel or Haulage?
Easier said than done, but perhaps the whole approach to it has to be redesigned.
I'd like to say that mining for ores etc would take off quick mainly because there will be a product, not just a service. However there’s at least another 15 years before we would allow mining due to contamination / quarantine / testing rah rah rah red tape red tape.
I think focusing on the reality of what the industry is going to be in the next 5 - 10 years and selling it as that, is a way.
Also lets not just point out its going to be a playground just for the rich initially! Lets work on Volume. Making it accessible (affordable) immediately to everyone, instead of in 10 years - lets learn from previous mistakes and the sooner we abolish financial segregation, the sooner we may actually advance as a species? Unlock our potential via Opportunity.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:59 pm
Pete wrote:
Now interplanetary. Hmm, that's a long way off, so hard to predict demand. But many people are talking about mining asteroids. Is this viable? Has research been done?


Viable?!?! :shock: Viable, hell! Pick a one-kilometer 'roid, any little ol' metallic 'roid -- they're the ones on the inside of the Belt, so they're easiest to get to anyways. Now, if you find a grand total of 2 tons of Platinum Group Metals in that one (which amounts to a fairly crappy chunk of rock), you're looking at $15B (US). Yeah, that's right, $15,000,000,000, and no I'm not lyin'. Find a bigger 'roid and process everything else in it, and you can add three more zeros to the end of that. Forget viable, bubba. Go find yourself one good 'roid and you're set for life.

And it ain't all that far off, either. Once you get orbital capability, you can get to the Moon with little extra effort. Get to the Moon and low-gravity conditions with all kinds of resources to work with, and you can go anywhere you damned well please.

Oh, and no, you don't need those MBAs or the CEOs or the CFOs or any of those other three-letter acronyms. All you need is a few extremely wealthy, slightly bored people. Not the movie stars or the corporate executives: people like Alan Greenspan. The people who are wealthy enough to disappear from international attention (Greenspan only appears in the news once annually, when he dictates to the Federal Government). The *really* wealthy people. Get them in tow, and you've got enough money to fund anything. The trick lies in figuring out how to get their money. :twisted:

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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:33 pm
luca wrote:
However there’s at least another 15 years before we would allow mining due to contamination / quarantine / testing rah rah rah red tape red tape.


15 years is likely, but that's from tech barriers not from red tape problems. consider, the only reason why red tape is such a problem is because several of the important companies are based in the US. when i make my millions in 20 years or so, and i decide to make an attempt to mine an asteroid, i'm not going to build and fly my stuff in the US, i'll pick some remote location with lots of space for me to land materials at and make flights from. also somewhere where people won't come after me because they get scared of all the stuff going up and coming down.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 24, 2004 2:40 am
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i'll pick some remote location


The problem is that global walls are breaking down, which means that no place is remote enough for the world not to care what you're doing there.

How do you think we stopped you Northern Hemisphere bastards from testing your nukes in the pacific? :wink:


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Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 24, 2004 6:26 am
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also somewhere where people won't come after me because they get scared of all the stuff going up and coming down.


We will come after you any where. You only get irradiated once!

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Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 24, 2004 11:51 pm
Pete wrote:
Quote:
i'll pick some remote location


The problem is that global walls are breaking down, which means that no place is remote enough for the world not to care what you're doing there.

How do you think we stopped you Northern Hemisphere bastards from testing your nukes in the pacific? :wink:


lol, remote from regulations, not from being able to avoid environmental/humanitarian concerns.

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Post Man's desire to acquire wealth and inherent greed.   Posted on: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:29 pm
Money is the single biggest killer of ideas the world has ever seen. If man is to advance himself into the future, then money needs to become no issue at all. If man spent less time whinging about the cost and got on and did it, we would be far, far more advanced than we are. Example, Fission or Fusion? Fission because it's cheaper, cheaper to research, cheaper to develop. But, like everything that man does that is cheap, it's also a killer. Alpha, Beta, Gamma Radiation. Spent fuel rods. The waste from Fusion? Water. Because the fuel is dueterium, or hydrogen. So is doing things the cheap way really any good for us? It's not man's initiative that slows us down as a species, but man's desire to acquire wealth and man's inherent greed. Man won't go to space to explore,(NASA exempt, although some satellite launches do make them money) Man will go to space to make money. Money, money. No wonder we're so backward in coming forward. Where would we have been if the Wright brothers didn't have enough funds to build the Wright Flyer. Or if Mitchell hadn't designed the Spitfire in WW2 because of cost. It's sad we put money before the expansion of knowledge, but as a species we just seem to like doing things the hard way.
Fusion power is the future, without doubt. It's clean, far more powerful than Fission and will provide solutions to most of the worlds poverty stricken countries. However, the guy/girl that invents it, needs to be a bloody saint, because a discovery like that will change the face of the planet for good. Temptation will be to sell it to the highest bidder, rather than sharing it fairly around the world's science communities so the whole of hummanity can benefit from what is basically FREE power. free in the sense that water is the fuel and the waste. And as we live on a planet that's covered 2/3rds in water, nobody has to go burning nasty fossil fuels or digging bloody great scars onto the surface of what little landmass we have


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Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:16 pm
Well, you are right (unfortunately) that money is the biggest killer. I doubt the economic world will change anytime soon.

About Fusion and Fission. Fission is easy, maybe it's cheaper, but it's just way too easy in terms of physics and capability back in the 40'ies. Fusion has big requirements thus making it expensive. But we've only got a few testreactors with succesfull fusion happened. Only for a very short of time. The trick is to get this proces going round and round. If money wouldnt be an issue, i'd say in 50 years we would have a working fusion reactor which can solve all our energy problems in time. One of the big no-no's is the power off the oil companies. Yeah, this is going to be abit conspiracy-theory, but it's a fact that they have billions and billions of dollars and euros, and are quiet influential in the various big governments. So i'm afraid we're going to have to wait anyway until the oil is economicly viable anymore. Since at that point everybody needs a solution, money won't be as big an issue at is is now, since we still have enough oil. And don't underestimate what kind of products are made of oil.

If you would have a stable, working fusion reactor right now, and dump that energy onto the market, the worldeconomy would break down since a lot is based on the oil price. Oil becomes instantly worthless since fusion energy is endless for a billion years or so. And that's why it cannot work at this moment in time, it will simply cause more damage than that it would benefit us all.


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Post Cold fusion   Posted on: Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:10 am
Oop, I gotta get my .02 in. I think that cold fusion will work out some day, it's already actually well proven, but not understood well at all, and not easy to reproduce. As for oil, that scenario you mention about fusion undercutting oil isn't quite accurate, unless you mean that each car would have it's own reactor. Otherwise, you'd have to convert the energy to electricity and use it to split water, and use the hydrogen in the not-so-commerically-viable fuelcell cars. I think all of this will change, though.

In case you haven't heard, world conventional oil production is going to start dropping within the next 10-15 years and maybe sooner. This could be a bad thing for the economy and thus the rocket business, BTW. This drop will yet again demonstrate that problem with economics, because the alternative sources of oil are expensive an risky, so that investment will only commence by the time it starts to be too late.

About those astroids: palladium et al would be very nice, it's good for fuel cells and electrolysis and catalysts, all of which we will need for a hydrogen economy, or any other. I suppose there would also be some frozen gasses or something that could be used for fuel for the return trip.

Ah. Economics. The dismal science. Sounds like my kind of thing. :roll: I want to make a billion or three using fusion power to isolate hydrogen and metals from seawater, and then fund private space prizes and a philanthropic program for Africa, that's my dream. To heck with economical, I'll have enough clout to do whatever I want.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:12 am
I don't think 10 to 15 years is realistic. If it is, we should get a exponential oilprice increase well before that time thus proving it to be to expensive anyway. I doubt people are thát stupid by only beginning then to build an alternative.

I was talking about electric cars, running on batteries. They are much more efficient then any conventional engine out there. And talking about commercial-viability, if there is no oil, or too expensive oil, what's that gonno to with the normal cars then?

And what ytou're talking about in the last lines. it's hard to understand you Ekkehard ;) I'm not sure if it's a joke or you're joking with me ;)


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Post    Posted on: Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:42 am
Hello, Stefan,

I don't know what you mean - by what should I have been joking with you? I am a little bit puzzled because I want to answer well. I have no problem with your posts.

Concerning the topic "money" there is a usual misunderstanding included or at work - a misunderstanding nearly each Economist is familiar to. Money - or the lack of it - is not the obstacle itself or the problem itself. Money simply is a solution for an obstackle or a problem and money is the indicator of obstacles or problems: Without money nobody would know how many cars a rocket is in terms of amounts of steel, wires and other things that are used in cars as well as in rockets. Without money nobody would be able to exchange things with other people. Without money there would be no way to express amounts of different things by one common indicator.

The problem is that money let's the people know lacks and problems and obstacles they don't like - so they blame it to the money instead of blaming it to the causes :) .

The definition of money is at least one degree more sophisticated - I would have to look and to search for the definition. ...



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Post OPEC and Fusion power   Posted on: Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:41 pm
I understand stefan, that opec are probably the single most influential body on the planet, because of them I pay nearly $1.30 a litre, a litre!! Ok a lot of that's down to the outrageous taxation on fuel The GB government seems to extract from us poor car owners. However, wouldn't it be a big kick in the teeth, if some genius created a stable Fusion reaction? Let's face it, if the States ever came up with it, it would be buried straight away. Purely because it would drop OPEC in the !*?* I believe, just as was the case with powered flight, some bright individual will come up with the relevant equations. When that happens, OPEC will not be able to stop the flood of fusion power stations on earth, whether they like it or not. I also think we are closer to creating a stable fusion reaction than we are told. NASA are already experimenting with Anti-matter production. So ask yourself exactly what we really do know. And what is being buried in a filing cabinet somewhere. As a practising Physicist, I experiment constantly with dueterium and hydrogen. I have even recreated the "star in a bottle" experiment using sonoluminescence. But my goal is not to create fusion power, but accelerated Ion particles for an advanced propulsion system. Creating Plasma is not that difficult either, just dangerous! I just feel that Rocket technology, even with NO2 hybrid rockets we have reached the pnnacle of that particular technology. We must move on, get man into interstellar space and discover who we really are. Before we Poison ourselves with grennhouse gasses and destroy whatever's left of the O-zone.


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