Business of Commercializing Space
David M. Livingston
This paper will investigate and report on some of the important business issues facing the commercialization of space, including private sector projects to the moon and Mars. One important issue concerns the potential conflicts of interest and competition among the various government agencies exercising regulatory control over certain aspects of commercial space development. These potential jurisdictional conflicts involve the FAA, NASA, The Department of Commerce and the FCC. The advantages and disadvantages of the roles of these regulatory agencies from both a business and space consumerŐs perspective will be discussed.
Financing commercial space projects will also be addressed, especially the use of venture capital as this is a frequently mentioned private sector tool for funding various commercial space projects and programs. With financing in mind, a look at various new space industries will be undertaken, as these industries have both applications and implications for private sector space commercialization and for investing and operating private sector missions to the moon and Mars, and for the popular emerging space tourism industry.
The final component of this paper discusses both the quality and the character of the business that we take off this planet to explore and develop space in general, and use in establishing bases and settlements on the moon and Mars. Perhaps not all our business practices, philosophies, procedures and attitudes are qualities we want to export off the earth. How shall we live, work and play in space, on the moon and on Mars is a question that needs to be considered. We will be the first society to begin the process of living, working and playing in space, and establishing settlements and colonies off this planet. With this honor and privilege also comes the responsibility to seed our future generations of space inhabitants, businessmen and women and leaders with a foundation, but what will that foundation look like? The consequences of what and how we carry out our development, commercialization, and colonization will remain with us for a very long time, both on earth and in space. This paper will address this important issue, an issue that can have an enormous impact on our space development plans extending not just to Mars but beyond Mars as well.