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Small space businesses

PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:11 pm
by BoraDogan
Operating a fleet of spacecraft is all right for the likes of Richard Branson. But what about the small scale entrepreneur? There are several "name a star" businesses. There are "buy a moon plot" businesses (scams). Anyone know of or thought about other small businesses to do with space?

Re: Small space businesses

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:58 pm
by RickLewis
Maybe transporting small personal items into space as cargo on commercial flights. Or how about franking postcards in space, as a novelty? The company would invite its customers to write postcards then it would pay NASA or Virgin or the Russians to take the bundle of postcards into space and frank them with a special postmark. Just an idea - I've no idea how much it would cost. Probably people would pay quite a bit to have their postcard franked in earth orbit, but whether they would pay on the scale required to make this a viable business is another matter!

Re: Small space businesses

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:28 pm
by Non Sum
Having one's cremated ashes spread in space.
I've heard of this being done, but not of any regular business set up expressly for doing it.

Re: Small space businesses

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:12 am
by John
Non Sum wrote:Having one's cremated ashes spread in space.
I've heard of this being done, but not of any regular business set up expressly for doing it.


Apparently this lot are the ones who took Gene Roddenberry and James Doohan's ashes into space.

As an aside. I worry enough about relying on Virgin to run a decent train service. Would anyone trust them to get you into orbit, and back, safely?

Re: Small space businesses

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:37 pm
by Non Sum
Thanks for the link, John. It does appear that 'Celestis Inc.' is already on the job, and about ready for turning our local space into a cemetary. I wonder how high they intend to lauch? Too low, and grandma just drifts on back to Earth; not high enough and we create a planetary ring of glowing grandmothers.

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Celestis announces our agreement with Odyssey Moon Limited and Astrobotic Technology, Inc. to launch payloads containing human cremated remains to the surface of the Moon as soon as 2011.

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Re: Small space businesses

PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:37 am
by RickLewis
Non Sum wrote:Thanks for the link, John. It does appear that 'Celestis Inc.' is already on the job, and about ready for turning our local space into a cemetary. I wonder how high they intend to lauch? Too low, and grandma just drifts on back to Earth; not high enough and we create a planetary ring of glowing grandmothers.

A planetary ring of glowing grandmothers is quite a poetic thought. I can imagine the idea actually appealing to some people, who might see it as a plus.

I wonder if that is how the rings around Saturn got started? :shock:

Re: Small space businesses

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:46 am
by JamesG
There are a lot of small engineering and fabrication firms that produce components for aerospace. Its not as glamorous as companies who want to build whole spacecraft (or sell the moon), but the hardware wouldn't get built without them.

Re: Small space businesses

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:08 am
by Intranaut
RickLewis wrote:Maybe transporting small personal items into space as cargo on commercial flights. Or how about franking postcards in space, as a novelty? The company would invite its customers to write postcards then it would pay NASA or Virgin or the Russians to take the bundle of postcards into space and frank them with a special postmark. Just an idea - I've no idea how much it would cost. Probably people would pay quite a bit to have their postcard franked in earth orbit, but whether they would pay on the scale required to make this a viable business is another matter!


Sounds like an excellent idea!
Even if you could place them in a small rocket if you could get permission to do it yourself, they only need to get 100km up! When I say only though, I don't mean ONLY, it would be quite a feat in itself!

Re: Small space businesses

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:57 pm
by JamesG
Or fly them on intercontinental ballistic deliveries. N America to Europe, or Asia, etc. "Space mail"! Won't be faster than air flown express post, because you would have to accumulate enough to make it worth while, them and wait for a chance/permission to schedule a launch and I'm sure it will give various national defense agencies fits to see ballistic missiles zipping around regularly. If you can overcome that, then there might be a market for novelty "really fast snail mail".

When a moon base is built, one of the by product of processing the lunar regolith for metals, oxygen, and the like will be a lot of silicates. The first likely exports from the Moon could be "Moon glass". Plates, glassware, wine bottles, and scultures, again for the novelty value.

Re: Small space businesses

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:00 pm
by Intranaut
But getting to the moon has to be cheap first! That could be a while...