Emerging Commercial Space — The Opportunity to Build your Business Case

COURSE NO.: 6080


This course begins with a detailed assessment and evaluation of emerging commercial space opportunities to
professionals in engineering, management and policy fields, and future space entrepreneurs.  In this interactive
class, you will have the opportunity to develop, improve and test out your personal idea for a commercial
space venture, or help somebody else develop their idea.

The course begins with a survey of the key issues needed for closing the commercial space business case.  In
addition to the traditional business issues, it will examine business environment issues that are unique to
commercial space.  The course will then examine case histories of a series of commercial space ventures, both
successful and failed, to draw lessons learned.  With this underpinning, the course will then examine emerging
commercial space business opportunities, including suborbital RLVs, orbital tourism, microgravity, nanosatellites,
small launch vehicles, reusable launch vehicles, orbital debris removal, space resource utilization, satellite
servicing, propellant depots, and space solar power.

The class is extremely useful for the aspiring entrepreneur, as well as the seasoned professional aerospace
executive, to help develop insights on commercial space opportunities you may be considering, and potential
approaches to preparing a business case.  This course is a must for the professional who wants to understand,
work with, or partner with commercial space companies.


Each attendee will receive a printed copy of the PowerPoint presentation.


Executives, program managers, financial officers, policy makers, and other nontechnical professionals
in aerospace and related industries. Anyone interested in the emerging opportunities of commercial
space.  Investors who want to expand their understanding of commercial space opportunities. Aspiring
entrepreneurs who are considering starting their own commercial space venture, or working for a
commercial space venture.


The unique issues of closing the business case for a commercial space venture, including: raising private
capital, launch licensing, export control, radio frequency licensing, competing with government agencies
(foreign and domestic), and other political and policy barriers. The history of a portfolio of commercial
space ventures from last several decades and how they succeeded or failed. An assessment of future
commercial space opportunities.  You will identify key risks, problems and challenges — and perhaps
solutions — for your favorite commercial space business plan.


  1. The Business Case

    An overview of traditional business risks related to market and customer, technical, regulatory,
    and financing.  General criteria for investing in new high risk ventures.

  2. Unique Challenges for the Commercial Space Business

    Examination of unique technical risks, market risks, financing risks and regulatory risks of the
    commercial space business case.  Exploration of what this means for preparing a compelling
    commercial space business case.

  3. Lessons Learned from Commercial Space Industry

    An examination of the history and business strategies of major historical commercial space firms
    — both past and current ventures — for potential application to future business plans and strategies.

  4. Current and Future Space Ventures

    Discussion of, and group inquiry into, strategies for future emerging commercial space businesses. 
    Identification of key risks to manage, and discussion of potential innovative approaches to closing a
    business case.

  5. Class Business Plan Project

    Work together in teams to develop a commercial space venture business case.  Pitch your team’s
    business case to the class, receive detailed feedback, and then examine the business case of other

    Test out your business strategies, concepts and ideas.  Flesh out and mature a business plan in the
    class.  Receive detailed feedback from the instructor, as well as your classmates, on the merits of your
    team’s proposed business strategy.

  6. Conclusions and Recommendations

    Take home new insights on the commercial space industry, and ideas on how to partner with commercial
    space.  Receive an independent expert review and recommendations on your idea(s), and perhaps
    acquire the critical insight you need to succeed in the commercial space industry.


Charles Miller is a serial space entrepreneur and a national expert on commercial space who has created a successful
commercial space venture.  Mr. Miller is the co-founder of Nanoracks, which has launched over 150 payloads to the
International Space Station.  He is a former NASA Senior Advisor for Commercial Space.  Mr. Miller is also the former
CEO of Constellation Services International, and the founder and former President of ProSpace.  He is an advisor to
U.S. government leaders at both NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense on partnering with commercial space
firms.  Mr. Miller works with both large and small U.S. companies helping them to develop their commercial space
plans and strategies. He studied engineering at Caltech and holds a BS Degree in Business Administration/Finance
from California State University.


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