Derek Webber is Developer of the “Gateway Earth” space policy initiative, which is an architecture using space tourism revenues to partially fund further exploration and development of the solar system. The approach relies upon establishing a joint governmental station/tourist hotel in geostationary orbit, near the edge of Earth’s gravity well, supplied by reusable tugs going between low Earth orbit and GEO. The tourists at the outpost will partially fund both the facility itself and the tug operations, thereby offsetting governmental budget requirements. At the station, government astronauts would manufacture and assemble the interplanetary craft for ongoing journeys. Webber established the Gateway Earth Development Group (GEDG) in 2015 to continue the development work. The concept gets a chapter to itself in his latest book “No Bucks, No Buck Rogers – Creating the Business of Commercial Space”.
Derek has been involved in commercial space developments for a period spanning 50 years, both in Europe and the US, starting as a satellite and launch vehicle engineer, later directing the procurement at a satellite operator, managing the European office of a satellite broadband operator, and as Director of Spaceport Associates, providing consulting services related to the business case and regulatory foundations of space tourism and spaceports.
Derek is also Vice Chair of the panel of nine independent international judges of the Google Lunar XPRIZE. This competition is nearing its completion as 5 teams compete for $30M in prize money for the first non-governmental payload to land on the Moon, travel 500 meters, and send back Hi Def images.