Broadcast 1827 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Tim Pickens. Topics: Pickens Innovations, commercial space, space economics & policy. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Tim Pickens back to the program to tell us about his new company Pickens Innovations. As Tim explained, he has left Dynetics and formed his own consulting business. Learn more about his new consultancy and activities by visiting We started our discussion by my asking Tim about some of the comments I made yesterday in a USA Today telephone interview regarding commercial/private space development. Since I forgot to record the interview (something I have learned to do for my own protection given edit rights are seldom permitted re the articles or programs), I bounced some of my comments off Tim to see if I was drinking my own Kool Aid about the state of the private space industry, its potential, the positive changes I see happening, and more. Tim confirmed that I was on the right track so now I await the USA Today article. In the process of this discussion, Tim had much to say about the emerging commercial space industry, the companies involved, the economics and the markets. We talked about how things have changed for the better over time and in recent years. I then asked Tim about Rocket City Space Pioneers, his Google Lunar X Prize entry, for which he remains the team leader. Tim was quite frank in discussing the program with us, the Google Lunar X Prize in general & many of the critical issues facing the contest & all the contestants. Do listen carefully to what he said as it goes right to the heart of issues facing the broader commercial & private space development efforts/industry. Part of our discussion focused on the value chain available for sustainable lunar business, the problems with ride sharing at this time to the Moon and much more. We also talked about essential time lines for the contest. He said many times that affordable systems were needed, viable and sustainable business models were needed, and he was thinking about a merger or joint venture with other contestants to make it happen. Tim fielded many questions about his new consultancy, Pickens Innovations. We learned that he was getting involved in other areas than space, specifically medical devices. He described two such devices and why his company was pursuing their development. How about market size and potential as compared to space? In fact, cash flow & revenue from these successful non-space businesses are expected to fund many of his space development activities. Also in this segment, our guest talked about space hardware issues. In the second segment, he defined the Man Cave which he talks about on his website. Tim responded to a listener question about the potential of a Netscape Moment re investing in space businesses, plus he talked about the need to have more fun and be less nerdy, referencing conference presentations and similar things space people engage in from time to time. As an example, he cited the Big Bang Theory TV show and a new show about to start, Top Engineer. Later, we talked about SLS and its future, its mission, and its likelihood of being funded to completion. Suborbital space and vehicle issues were a discussion topic followed by Tim talking about the Space & Missile Defense Conference in Huntsville ( later this month. His closing comments were positive & upbeat for our future, especially by using disruptive technologies which he talked about at great length throughout the interview. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.



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02 Aug 2012 Tim Pickens
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