Book Review: No Bucks, No Buck Rogers: Creating the Business of Commercial Space by Derek Webber, CP Curtis Press; 2017; U.S. $42.95.
This is an engaging, well-written, and fact-filled book regarding commercial space exploration.
Webber has long been associated with giving space the business, and his insider looks at how best to build the economic case for space is documented in this volume.
This over 270-page book is divided into sections:
Military and Governmental Beginnings; Traditional Commercial Space Businesses; Transition-enabling Businesses; Commercial Space Exploration Businesses; and Creating the Business of Commercial Space.
You can tell by these section listings, this is a no-nonsense look into space engineering, marketing and finance along with other business aspects. The volume also serves up fascinating projections into the future – specifically, lunar commerce, asteroid mining, space solar power, as well as space settlement.
The author provides the reader unique insights, including accounts and details of multi-million dollar satellite and launch vehicle negotiations.
As Webber explains, the intent of this personal look is to detail and document “a massive paradigm shift” from old space to new space. The author has pulled together, not only an impressive roster of past, present, and future enterprises, but also the cast of characters that have been, in my view, renaissance agents – those individuals that have helped shape commercial space.
I was particularly drawn to the more futuristic opportunities. There’s a very healthy dose of detail concerning space tourism – which often takes on the ambience of tapping fusion power. But as Webber notes, “without true re-usability, enabled by space tourism, none of the future economic developments would be possible.”
The book also includes valuable general reading citations and key data sources, along with a selection of illustrations and photos, many published for the first time.
In his career, Derek Webber has been engaged in many of the significant developments of commercial space. As the Director of Spaceport Associates, he developed key space tourism market research data, and is currently presiding over the “Gateway Earth” space policy initiative.
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