ISPCS Panel: Bigelow, Paragon, Sierra Nevada and Dynetics

Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser - a seven-person space shuttle designed for orbital flight.


“Establishing the Commercial Space Market: Matching Business Strategy with Funding Sources”

Lee Rand — Managing Partner, Sun Mountain Capital
Grant Anderson — VP of Engineering, Paragon Space Development Corporation
Mark Sirangelo — Corporate VP and Chairman, Sierra Nevada Corporation; Chairman, Commercial Spaceflight Federation
Tim Pickens — Commercial Space Advisor; Chief Propulsion Engineer, Dynetics
Robert Bigelow — Owner and Founder, Bigelow Aerospace

Grant Anderson – Paragon Space Development Corporation

— premiere supplier of environmental life sciences systems
— did not go the VC route — when started in 1993, there was no one to talk to on commercial space
— Peripheral Investment model — could generate a lot of growth
— Probably will built more launch capacity than there is market
— Invest in subsystems then you have multiple customers — looks better for investors

Mark Sirangelo — Sierra Nevada Corporation

— Produced by a merger of Microsat Launch Systems, SpaceDev and Starsys
— Sierra Nevada is the 2nd or 3rd largest subsystem manufacturer

Robert Bigelow – Bigelow Aerospace

— experience as a general contractor with hotels
— small company 110-115 people on staff
— takes a general contractor approach to the space community
— stations may function under various ownerships — Delaware and Nevada — user friendly nature of the laws in those states
— subcontract out 55-60 percent of all components – rest of it done in house
— no other company on Earth knows as much about these types of expandable systems as they do
— 185000 square foot expansion for production of modules
— still in an R&D mode
— 50-60 countries with space ambitions but not much in the way of alternatives
— Chile’s entire astronaut core was sitting in one chair in his office 5-6 years ago
— Going to ISS is expensive, requires political connections
— 75-80 percent of ISS is split between Russia and United States
— Some of partners are unhappy with access….there’s opportunity there for private facilities
— Will come out with new client leasing guide…
— Bigelow finances deals over three years and six year
— Real estate model — will not place serious limits on reselling seats and subleasing
— Real estate model used for attracting investors
— Can be used to lure businesses to countries — grant access to microgravity environment
— Aggregate partners in LEO to create lunar bases and eventually on to Mars
— Would like to see Delta IV upgraded for heavier lift….could place 1150 square meter space station in one launch—this would be more volume than the International Space Station
— Looking at Florida, Wallops Island and Japan as launch sites
— As new reusable vehicles come online, we will consider using them as well
— For us, CCDEV is very important…hopes it happens quickly and in the United States
— To support the stations, need two launches per month (24/year)

General Comments

Panelists praised initiatives coming out of NASA, especially the Commercial Crew Development (CCDEV) program. These efforts are seen as partnerships with the government where industry has flexibility about how to meet requirements.