Your Place in Space, Episode 8: Space Money with Tim Chrisman
Since the 1950s, governments have funded the space industry. It wasn’t until the 2000s, that billionaires like Musk, Bezos, and Branson started to make headway. Today, with decreasing launch prices, select smaller enterprises are having success with private funding. It’s a new dawn in the space era, and financing is still a challenge.
“I know how much money will be made off a mine in Chile,” one investor said. ” I don’t know what’s happening in space tomorrow.”
Tim Chrisman is a former Army and intelligence officer, with extensive finance experience. Now, as the Executive Director of The Space Foundation and the Association for Space Finance, he works to incentivize financial development in space. The Space Industry needs the financial tools, strategies, and overall infrastructure to further advance space efforts, and there are limited options right now.
Here are a few key takeaways:
• Recently, there have been attempts to make space more accessible by incentivizing markets, creating innovation zones and making comparisons with other infrastructure investments.
• The agreement around bringing private market finance into the space industry is met with broad agreement but difficulty in coalescing everyone around the same idea due to conflicting agendas There is recognition that space is important, and the next step has been educating Congress members.
• Politicians are noticing that space benefits them personally and there has been a move to support the industry due to its job creation potential. Highlighting that many space-related jobs pay 20-40% higher than the national average has helped create positive traction for the sector.Personalization is necessary to spark interest in space among voters and politicians.
• Combining venture capital with donations to non-profits could help fund space projects.
• Infrastructure bills are being discussed to make space investment more palatable.
• Large private equity firms are working to model risk for long-term investments in space, but that is a challenge.
• Cognitive changes are still needed to transition people’s understanding of what space can provide.
• China and Russia have clear visions for their military-commercial sectors in space. Leaders in the US Space sector are calling on US leaders to develop a clear vision and mission in the space sector.