Not Excited...

Robot Guy is stoked about SpaceDev's DreamChaser:
... will be doing manned suborbital flight tests in 2008, and will have manned test flights to orbit in 2010. Compare this with NASA's four-person CEV, which will be doing its first orbital flights in 2014.

So I peruse through the linked announcement all stocked myself until I read this little problemo:
"Since then, national focus has changed to a Shuttle replacement, and we believe that our new SpaceDev Dream Chaser(TM) vehicle concept is ideal for both suborbital and orbital applications. However, funding is needed if we are going to be able to pursue this exciting new concept."[Emphasis Added]

Translation: NO MULA = NO DREAMCHASER. This is what I like to call a Mula Call. They want cash. They want investors. They need a Paul Allen, or a Sir Richard Branson to fund their little commercial adventure into suborbital space. So they make a press release and try to get some attention hoping that some rich bugger will spontaneously leap out of his seat upon reading the news story and donate from his bottomless pocket to their cause. Paul Allen did it for SpaceShipOne. He gave 30 mil to the enterprise of building the first private space ship.

It would be cool if they could beat NASA in it's CEV development, but those dates they give seem to be contingent on that ever important Mula. Until they get the rich bugger, like every other one of these suborbital tourism start-ups, they aint got nothing. So I'm not excited.

Seems to me like DreamChaser, is a dream that they are a chasing... Sorry I couldn't come up with anything better than that line.


  1. Just to make sure, you know who SpaceDev is, right? Jim Benson is a "rich bugger" as it were. They have had a positive income for about a year now. They make micro sats, oh yeah and SpaceShipOne's engines. They have a market cap of roughly $35 million with $2.8 million in investors equity (running about $1.60/share tonight).

    An the irony of all this is, they just bought a flight from SpaceX (whom you are excited by) for there microsat program in 2008.

  2. Dan I know what SpaceDev is. I may not be a savant extrodinaire, may not work on sats for a living, but I do read just a tiny bit, and yes I do have a pulse.

    "However, funding is needed if we are going to be able to pursue this exciting new concept."

    I guess that line was just added in for kicks by SpaceDev. Maybe it would help if you could gave me a reason why you think they would say something like that if they already had the cash to do it? Maybe something is flying over my head here.

    If a company was really serious, I figure they would line up the funding first. They wouldn't advertise what they were doing so much, and would try to keep everything under wraps so that the competition doesn't know what's going on.

    Kind of reminds me of the secrecy that surrounded SS1, and now surrounds Blue Origin... But hey maybe you know that Jim Benson plans to fork over the cash if not enough investors buy in... If so how am I supposed to know that? I just read, and take people at their word. If they aint telling me everything I can't help that.

    And don't underestimate the importance of that SpaceX flight. SpaceDev is still years away from launching a darn thing. A successful SpaceX flight could spur investors to fork over the cash that SpaceDev needs don't ya think?

    You know that ever lucrative "Netscape" moment I keep hearing the little Elon saying?

  3. All sarcasm aside, the point I was making is that unlike most startup space companies, SpaceDev doesn't need an angel investor or even venture capitalists. They can be bought and sold over the stock exhange.

    So while funding is absolutely an issue, they aren't as limited in whom they can get the money from as, say SpaceX is.

    It is more like Red Hat saying they are going to build a new Office Suite for Linux and Windows vs. Fred and Jim in there garage. They both need captial to do it, but Red Hat has a lot more avenues to obtain it.

  4. "...unlike most startup space companies, SpaceDev doesn't need an angel investor or even venture capitalists. They can be bought and sold over the stock exhange."

    You're confusing me even more Dan. Fine they don't need one single angel investor, then they need many small ones. Same goal, different strategy.

    The point is they don't have the money now. And in my opinion that was the whole point of that annoucement was to attract attention to get people to give them cold hard cash.

    Until they have the cash, they can't be building anything. Funding is the number one issue/cost associated with Aerospace ventures as far as I know. If it's either in the form of an investor or a loan it has to come from somewhere and it frequently is the greatest stumbling block in commerical aerospace as far I know.

    Granted, SpaceDev may have more avenues to get that funding, but again they don't have it now. That is why I am still not excited.

    Meanwhile SpaceX has/had the funding, and is lighting the freaking candle this Friday.... They've made it. SpaceDev has yet to prove that.