The Private Space Exploration Industry Blasts Off

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Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) –- On today’s “Regnomix,” Former NASA Astronaut Leroy Chiao, Space Adventures President Tom Shelley and Bloomberg’s Cory Johnson discuss Spacex’s successful launch of a satellite and the future of private space travel. They speak with Trish Regan and Adam Johnson on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)


Leroy ciao and tom shelley.

Tom, i would like to start with you.

How is it that we are seeing the cost to being so significantly reduced?

How is it that spacex is able to develop this technology more cheaply than boeing or lockheed martin?

Spacex is vertically integrating itself.

They are not using the same purchasing and supply chain management techniques that boeing and lockheed are.

They are doing things in a different way that innovates themselves.

You are able to do all the work in-house and maybe innovate in a more aggressive way than a much older or bigger company.

Are we going to see the likes of them competing with each other to have that are technology that can be used cheaply?

It is a very exciting time.

Part of the white house committee recommended putting forth the support of these privates based ventures.

We are seeing some of the proof of that exploit.

The fact that he just launched his first commercial satellite for significantly less than the traditional providers is a big deal.

There were a lot of naysayers to that, too.

It seems to be working.

This can be a real game changer.

People kept talking about this as a big business opportunity.

We did speak at length about his plans for virgin galactic.

I have a private that that our spaceship company will be the biggest ever to have started.

He says it will be the biggest company that virgin has ever started.

What is the potential here?

What branson is trying to do and what musk and other companies are trying to do are completely different.

Launching people and launching satellites are completely different.

We don't know how that market is going to be and how many people will pony up the money to go to suborbital flight and get five minutes of zero gravity and see the curvature of the earth.

An immensely cool idea.

What it's worth depends on how much you've got.

How big is the industry right now?

We know that 300 people have put down deposits for branson.

Getting back to elon musk and is $55 million venture, it can be anywhere from 100 million dollars to $200 million to be launched into space.

How big a business opportunity is it overall?

The satellite business is changing.

We don't know about the true cost of spacex.

I remember walking to the factory and he said to me the company was profitable.

What he means is cash flow prosody of -- positive.

I said, do you mean free cash flow?

The person said, i don't really know.

What i will say about the satellite business is that it is going through an interesting contraction right now.

It has caused a lot of satellites to get launched in recent years.

The failures of 3-d tv, the?

Of ultrahigh death tv -- question mark of ultrahigh def tv.

One of the things that i find so fascinating is that in the old days, you had the space race.

It was the u.s. versus the ussr.

Now we are in an environment where elon musk, richard branson, all these really innovative and very savvy and smart, wealthy men are now venturing into this space.

What do you think of that transition?

It is out of the hands of government and into the private sector.

Does that make the technology more cutting-edge?

They are complementary to the government programs because the government programs are still going on.

It is under their purview to push further and deeper into space where the commercial business opportunities are less clear.

We have been going to lower orbit for 50 years.

The technology is mature.

Now they figure out how to do it more inexpensively and efficiently.

If spacex can keep prices as low as they have been, it would really be a game changer.

Richard branson's long-term plan goes well beyond taking people to suborbital space.

I don't know how stable that isn't people ponying up a quarter million dollars.

He has plans to launch satellites, so it is a very

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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