Author Topic: Thoughts on Commercial Space -- New Blog by George Sowers  (Read 10864 times)

Offline Oli

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Offline envy887

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Re: Thoughts on Commercial Space -- New Blog by George Sowers
« Reply #61 on: 08/28/2017 02:31 PM »
From part 2C:

Quote
Lesson Learned #3:  Beware the terrestrial competitor who has a scalable business model. Competing with terrestrial businesses from space is fraught with peril.  The terrestrial business model is generally scalable.  The cell phone company can put in some cell towers, gain some customers (revenue), then put in some moreóon a timescale measured in months.  The space business (in the mode of Iridium) must get everything fielded before any revenue accrues.  The timescale is measured in years.

Lesson Learned #4:  Be deeply suspicious of your own market analysis.  You should start from the premise that all commercial space business models suck (See Lesson Learned #1).  I still shake my head at the wild market analyses we used to justify the investment into Atlas V and Delta IV. We were assuming that the worldwide launch market would grow by 4 to 5 times its then size in just a few years. The fact that everyone got it wrong is little consolation.  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Compounding the problem was that each side assumed they alone would garner the lionís share of that new market and priced accordingly.  Obviously, in the real world, the market will be shared among many competitors, some of whom donít have to recover investment or make a profit.  (See Lesson Learned #2).

Evident here is the lack of scalability of expendable launch. Launch costs were based on manufacturing rates required for predicted launch rates that never materialized, instead of closing the business case at current launch prices.

Did Teledesic have technical issues with data rate? With broadband, they had a offering that was far more difficult for cell providers to compete with than Iridium or Globalstar voice and slow data. Although, the demand for broadband was much lower in 2002, which wouldn't have helped Teledesic.

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Thoughts on Commercial Space -- New Blog by George Sowers
« Reply #62 on: 08/29/2017 01:06 AM »
Space related businesses have a real problem with "market acceptance risk". The reason is that you have such inaccessible and deep silos that disrupting them appears to bring too much risk and too little potential advantage.

As a result, all you have is highly speculative market research of the grandiose kind, which tends to be puffed even more.

Both Iridium/Skynet were dubious from the beginning, and Teledesic never closed as well, because there was little specific information on market acceptance, given the less developed demand for such products then.

Nowadays the story is quite different. The issue is more of delivering in the scope/scale of capacity/capability that leads to displacing ground based alternatives with a more attractive offering.

In short, the prior attempts were too insufficient to model the present ones off of.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Thoughts on Commercial Space -- New Blog by George Sowers
« Reply #63 on: 08/29/2017 01:31 PM »
What sorts of vehicles were proposed by Boeing and Alliant Techsystems in response to the Air Force's RFP in 1995?

Offline ethan829

What sorts of vehicles were proposed by Boeing and Alliant Techsystems in response to the Air Force's RFP in 1995?

Boeing proposed a vehicle that used SSMEs in a recoverable engine pod
http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/systems/eelv_b.htm

Alliant based their proposal on the Titan IV Solid Rocket Motor Upgrade

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Thoughts on Commercial Space -- New Blog by George Sowers
« Reply #65 on: 08/31/2017 09:55 AM »

But all of that growth relates to what people can do in space, thanks to cheap launches. None of it is focused on making money by providing cheap launches. Cheap launches becomes the catalyst for the explosion of the space industry. It does not represent the money making mechanism itself. Merely the platform that enables the money making to take place in orbit and beyond.

SpaceX themselves admit this. Hence their focus on the satellite constellation. The revenue of which will dwarf the money they can hope to make from launch services.
Actually there is at least one company that has know this all along.  :(

the structure of the market we have now will never lower the price of mass/unit currency by a significant enough amount to make massive expansion viable.

Governments, ELV mfgs and launch vehicle services providers are not set up to do this and most LV services companies don't want to do it as they are tied to their associated LV mfg.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

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