15 JAN 18 EXODUS AEROSPACE HQ, WHEATLAND WY
The office of the governor of Wyoming called me to ask how they could encourage our business. They have since had meetings and conferences aimed at drawing new technology ventures. Of course our effort to build a space launch system only needs $500 million to get moving. There is less government interest in our conversation at that point.
Today I decided to investigate the Science fiction program called “Firefly“. It had a short season, but it was colorful, with space cowboys. Lots of leather, wood, and six-shooters. That fits the story line for space ventures in Wyoming pretty well. The story opens with a political “discussion” of a war where the Alliance vanquished the independents. My own political beliefs about our current political “alliance” have inspired a few comments on Facebook, but we can save that story for another day. (Don’t go there!)
Our horizontal launch venture will build slowly with a small unmanned cargo aircraft. But we still have space cowboy dreams out here. At one time we had a space conference in Phoenix that drew innovators to explore the ways to explore space. That was a key for inventors, scientists, and engineers who are not on a big payroll. Sadly that event has passed into history, and many space conferences cost over $2,000 now. We are even more isolated because horizontal launch is not always well received. But we miss the forum where new ideas were always available.
SPACE ACCESS 2016…END OF THE TRAIL
Seriously, who wants to pay $2000 for a rubber chicken dinner honoring some self-inflated big space bureaucrat? There are real innovators in big aerospace, but those are often in the black world, and they may not get out of their cages very often. Those who do escape may spin off their own small ventures and challenge the world of entrepreneurial fund raising. As such they get to attend few of these expensive conferences. One such venture is Tim Bendel’s Frontier Astronautics. He persuaded me to leave Arizona for wild and windy Wyoming, a regular “border planet” to the big aerospace world.
So governor, how do you want to draw the creative world to this vast source of real estate? If I may suggest that real estate is a pretty good draw. I don’t think rocket guys need a four-star hotel to have a good time. In fact, a few dream of going to Mars. You know, Wyoming is not too far from Mars. Laramie is over 7,000 feet so it really is closer. I offered some of our young partners a chance to camp in a place that offers a pretty good Mars simulation, not far from Laramie.
WYOMING…PLENTY OF SPACE!
So it is possible that some people may not require more than a camp site, or a motel with bus transportation to an event that could draw considerable aerospace participation. An outdoor venue may still offer a lot of value to space minded people. You may remember how we grew during the solar eclipse. Wyoming also has great dark sky viewing of this great universe at night. Add a great cowboy barbecue and a warm fire and you have a great gathering.
Outdoor events could still offer shelter for displays, presentations, and demonstrations. This is not a new idea to the Experimental Aircraft Association. Their Airventure air show in Oshkosh provides camping and dorms at the University of Wisconsin for visitors. As a fly-in the airport has space for those who camp in their own aircraft as well. Corporate display areas and new innovation all draw crowds to the area. Aviation and space have a popular draw.
We do well to remember that our scientists were often inspired by science fiction like this. So it would not hurt to remember the inspiration of Star Trek, Star Wars, Farscape, and Babylon 5. If you want to draw aerospace, invite the heroes of Hollywood who inspired their careers. Now you may be drawing a crowd, but probably not like Oshkosh or Burning Man. OK, you may not want to witness anything THAT wild, but they DO have smaller regional affiliates. How about…
BURNING SPACE MAN 2018. A space-cowboy gathering to contemplate the new space frontier. Consider the virtues or vices of vertical launch versus horizontal launch. LOX or HTP; is there a role or mission for each? Can a lighter than air craft reach orbit? Does the space elevator go all the way to the top? Can you REALLY shoot a firearm on Firefly and not de-pressurize?
Seriously, our Exodus Aerospace team is located all over America, and we need a conference just to meet our own team! We have suppliers with locations in both Colorado and Wyoming. Perhaps some of our Wyoming and Colorado space assets will open up for facility tours. Fire marshals in Colorado were uncomfortable with Tim Bendel’s rocket fuel. He bought a missile silo south of Chugwater, where they said “Just don’t scare the cows”. Then we also have the University of Wyoming. Do we have assets to showcase for visitors?
We do welcome advocates of horizontal launch, so a fly-in format might encourage aeronautical types. Like the EAA, we might provide bus connections between the university, motels, the airport, and some good dark-sky country. Do you realize that we have one of only three reusable horizontal launch projects in the world today? Perhaps we should invite aerospace engineering students from surrounding states too. The University of Colorado is already contributing interns and graduates to our efforts. Think of the possibilities!
Our own venture will have very small beginnings so we do not need a big production at this time. But perhaps you may initiate this conversation with other parties who might share this interest. We can introduce our vendors and teammates too. Perhaps there is a land owner or State park that can handle a small pilot conference? You bring the steaks, and I’ll bring the charcoal. Just don’t let the rocket guys light the charcoal with liquid oxygen!
WITH SUFFICIENT THRUST, PIGS FLY JUST FINE!