Several years ago at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight I received my inspiration to focus on the space business. Hired to do marketing for the event, I quickly realized that I had landed on the ground floor of opportunity.
All of the winds were blowing in the right direction, advances in technology, and an aging shuttle program, a multitude of company start-ups that saw the same opportunity and the advent of the X Prize. You could see and feel the momentum accelerating.
One of the most impressive things was who had already focused on this opportunity. Lon Levin of XM Radio fame, Elon Musk a co-founder of PayPal who started Space X, and as everyone knows Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic. All of these guys had already been successful entrepreneurs and had made their fortunes but had turned to some element of space as one of their next ventures. Hearing and meeting these guys and many others fueled my desire to be an entrepreneur and to look closely at opportunities around the space industry.
Of course having Spaceport America in my backyard has been a great help too. This year has been one of milestones for the space industry here in New Mexico and abroad, the FAA choosing NMSU and Dr. Pat Hynes for the lead on the Commercial Space Center of Excellence, the near completion of Spaceport America and the successful milestones of Virgin Galactic, Space X and Armadillo Aerospace to name a few. Of course the change in NASA direction is playing a large role in the momentum too.
I am working on many opportunities, excited to see where they will take me. This year at
ISPCS the speakers are outstanding, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Neil Sheehan, Lori Garver, Deputy Administrator of NASA, and Jeff Greason, President of XCOR Aerospace for example. Topics covered in other sessions at this year’s event will include funding sources for space investments, hybrid spaceports; the impact of ITAR on commercial space; and test programs for commercial spaceflight. Next week I will be at ISPCS once again and also at the runway dedication at Spaceport America, watching history unfold and doing some risk taking and world shaping!