Standing at the lectern at the United Nations building in New York, Peter Diamandis looks the demagogue...he's impassioned with the vision of a new kind of public capital: prize capital. "If I had a billion dollars," he tells the assembled audience of 300 who have paid $1,800 a head to attend this first ever X Prize conference, "I'd create ten $100 million prizes!"
WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 13, 2009 - During what may be the last public meeting, the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, commissioned by President Obama to study current U.S. human space flight plans, there was a strong consensus for funding a robust commercial human space flight program to provide human space transportation to low Earth orbit (LEO).
If humans ever create a lunar base, one of the biggest challenges will be figuring out how to breathe. Transporting oxygen to the moon is extremely expensive, so for the past several years NASA has been looking into other possibilities. One idea is extracting oxygen from moon rock.
A White House panel tasked with re-evaluating NASA's plans for future space exploration has begun culling a list of potential options — one that ranges from staying the current course to taking direct aim at sending humans to Mars.
The commercial space industry has seen some interesting developments over the past weeks. Statements last week by members of President Obama’s human spaceflight review committee (The Augustine Commission) suggest that commercial providers may be taking a significant role in how NASA accesses low Earth orbit and how missions beyond low Earth orbit use orbiting “gas stations”. At the same time, two commercial space companies, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, have received significant investments from well known funds (more on that below), suggesting that capital markets see a fundable new industry developing.