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I Want To Be A Space Millionaire

"My most impassion call to action is for the New Space Movement to create its own Political Action Committee (PAC) to place money into the political process in order to create a powerful impact like the impact."
by Michael Potter
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Oct 30, 2007
I am high over the skies of New Mexico wondering what portion of the $2 million dollar combined Northrop Gruman Lunar Lander and NASA Centennial challenge monies is being awarded right this minute on the ground directly below me as I fly overhead. On Friday at the X-prize CEO Summit luncheon event, John Carmack, co-founder of id Software, the company who brought the world, the game "Doom" and "Quake," now brings us Armadillo aerospace and his company's impressive Pixel vehicle as well as the sister craft Texel.

Cormack explains to the audience that any engineering project that requires "the worlds largest crane, or the largest anything," is doomed. The operating criteria is that his vehicles have to fit into a van in order to be transported.

Because Carmack does not view himself as a mega- millionaire, he feels like he was forced to create an approach to project design and building that is definitely not the traditional slow, and ineffective approach typical of incumbent aerospace, nor that of the garage hobbyist, but Armadillo should be viewed as an independent new entrant aerospace project.

The design and build philosophy and approach is concurrent, collaborative, creative, and definitely entrepreneurial. Speaking at the invitation only X-Prize Executive Summit, Cormack, describes to the audience of the challenges of designing in real time, and walking over to the CC and T machines himself in order to program the machine, so that he can cut a prototype, and bring it back to the design session.

It is difficult to imagine any other Aerospace executives with either Carmack's talent or the passion. He then delivers the final coup de grace on the luncheon audience by showing some of the very compelling Armadillo corporate and vehicle test videos.

Lunch is followed by a session on "investment capital for space entrepreneurs." My own modest contribution to the audience is to remind them, "that the best way to become a space millionaire, is to start life off as a billionaire."

My most impassion call to action is for the New Space Movement to create its own Political Action Committee (PAC) to place money into the political process in order to create a powerful impact like the impact.

Chris Stott, Founder of ManSat, cautions that the greatest risk to American new space technology firms, "is not technology, not event government regulations," often associated with delays and failures in early stage space technology firms, but remarkable the post Enron financial regulations called "Sarbanes-Oxley."

He calls it the "perfect financial storm" and argues that the expensive, and crippling laws are having the unintended effect of driving thousands of early stage companies to list in the United Kingdom on the Alternative Investment Market. He emphatically urges the audience to contact their Legislators to remedy this madness.

Dr. Burton Lee observed that there is a major gap in the financing of seed and early stage companies. Dr. Lee officially announced the creation of the Space Angels Network to bring angel investors together with small innovative companies focusing on space and technology related markets.

I am now off the airplane. The first thing that I do is to take the pulse of the New Space Revolution. I am saddened to hear the Cormack's Pixel crashed nearly 10 feet from the ground and about 7 seconds away from winning! Today will not be the victory landing and it will not be the day that proverbial "shot" will be heard and seen around the world.

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For the first time, women rule in space
Cape Canaveral, Florida (AFP) Oct 24, 2007
Breaking new ground in the history of space exploration, women are at the helm of the International Space Station and the space shuttle at the same time, as they orbit the Earth.

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