Are you embedded in a larger aerospace firm or enterprise and enticed from all of the news about the hot new space start-ups, perhaps contemplating a career change? Or, are you an investor or service provider trying to sort out the rapid-fire developments in the entrepreneurial space arena, trying to figure it all out and maybe pick some winners? Then this presentation might be just for you.
The U.S. space sector is currently changing to a degree not experienced for at 30 years, if not longer. The Space Shuttle program has run its course while the completed ISS orbits our planet, desperate for users. As the 50-year first phase of solar system exploration nears completion, NASA's strategic plans continue to be in flux under chronic budgetary strain. Defense-oriented space efforts continue to struggle with issues relating to cost-effectiveness, resiliency and responsiveness. Established commercial markets continue to mature while several new commercial markets emerge, spearheaded in many cases by wealthy, visionary, tech-savvy entrepreneurs seeking to disrupt the status quo with bold strategic moves in the marketplace.
The buildup leading to today's space sector landscape took about 30 years to evolve and mature, particularly in the emerging entrepreneurial space arena-commonly labeled today as the "NewSpace" sector. At their core, NewSpace firms seek to significantly expand commercial space markets beyond the currently mature segments of commercial communications and remote sensing satellites and related launch, mission operations and insurance services-about 2/3 of today's global space economy-into new commercial activities such as commercial cargo and crew delivery to orbit, suborbital and orbital adventure travel and research, space infrastructure and logistics services in cis-lunar space, and a wide variety of commercial lunar, asteroid and Mars missions. Long-term goals include making commercial and private human space travel to Earth orbit, the Moon and Mars commonplace and to bring the nearly unlimited resources of the solar system into the economic sphere of the Earth.
Observing these trends since the mid-1980s, while working on "Big Aerospace" projects, Rex eventually decided to jump from the Big to the New-twice. While experiencing the typical uncertainties and dramas associated with such transitions, he nonetheless was able to find and maintain a productive path through this new market landscape while holding technical leadership and management positions in several up-start firms and on several pathfinding entrepreneurial space efforts, culminating with co-founding a space start-up and successfully growing it for over a decade.
In this presentation, Rex will recap and highlight the important market trends and developments that are shaping today's commercial space sector and will connect some of his memorable experiences during the past 25-odd years to them, focusing especially on his entrepreneurial ventures during the past 15 years-and especially on what can go wrong.
When & Where
The Aerospace & Defense Forum
The Aerospace & Defense Forum is a global aerospace and defense leadership community of over 1200 with six chapters providing opportunities for sharing of information, current events, and analysis, mutual support and encouragement, partnering, innovation, and performance breakthroughs.