space economy Archive

Kevin Rice – Former Director of Business Management for Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works and NASA JPL

January 20, 2022 @ 2:47 pm

In this episode:

We meet Kevin Rice who spent 40 years in the aerospace industry, roughly split between Lockheed Martin’s legendary Skunk Works and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). At Skunk Works Kevin served as Director of Business Management, where his responsibilities included management of several hundred employees in the execution of budgeting, scheduling, proposal development, cost estimating and pricing, contracts, and risk management. His work supported tactical aircraft projects including the F-117, F-22, and F-35, as well as reconnaissance projects such as the U-2, SR-71, various C-130 projects, and the sub-scale X-33 reusable launch vehicle.


Following that, and until his retirement in 2019, Kevin worked for NASA JPL, as a Division Manager and Director of Project Business Management for NASA’s research and development centers. Kevin developed, implemented and maintained JPL’s project controls processes, and created JPL’s business policies and practices manual (the “Dark Green Book”), which served as a model for business throughout NASA. He also developed the independent assessment model adopted by NASA to assess project performance. From 1992 to the present, Kevin has served as adjunct professor of Corporate Finance, International Business, and Global Financial Management at the University of Redlands.


In our conversation, Kevin discusses how he budgeted costs and set timelines for massive aerospace projects, established risk evaluation and management controls, what it was like maintaining constant discretion on classified projects, details on Skunk Works’ X-33 reusable launch vehicle program with NASA, and his experiences riding the annual Federal appropriations rollercoaster.


Discussing his own personal commandments for business management, Kevin says, “It’s about understanding the trends — what are the facts, what is the relationship between facts — that’s analysis. Assessment is, ‘What do I do with that information?’” You know, what is the risk attendant to that? How reasonable is it? What are some of the alternatives that we can apply to some of that?”


Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom © Copyright 2015, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Miss Judged

Filed under aerospace, Space Foundation, Space4U, NASA, space economy · Comments

Robert Brumley – Cofounder/Chairman of CommStar Space Communications

July 28, 2021 @ 8:20 am

In this episode:

We meet Robert Brumley, cofounder and chairman of the CommStar space companies. CommStar intends to deploy the CommStar-1 satellite to cislunar orbit in 2023, serving as a high-capacity data relay satellite in the cislunar service area. CommStar-1 is being designed in cooperation with Thales Alenia Space to serve as a hybrid satellite able to receive and relay both radio-frequency and laser-optic communications — serving demand for bidirectional data communications between the Earth and the Moon for commercial, civil science, and government customers.


Brumley was a Senate-confirmed Presidential appointee in the Reagan administration, serving in both terms. During that time, he acted as the Executive Director of the Commercial Space Working Group of the National Security Council, and the Economic Policy Council. He is also a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Bob has extensive executive experience in the management and financing of early-stage ventures, particularly in aerospace, telecommunications, and defense.


In our conversation, Brumley explains what the vast cislunar area of space means to private companies like CommStar, why it’s so important to have this kind of infrastructure closer to the Moon, how the system will provide the same internet and communications services on the Moon as we currently have on Earth, and how a similar configuration could potentially be considered as infrastructure for other locations in deep space.


In discussing the growing importance of the cislunar service area, Bob says, “People are just learning: What is cislunar? And what is that to do with the Moon? And is there a real commercial opportunity outside what the government is doing? And within the last six months — particularly what we've experienced — the answer is yes, and there is real excitement about bypassing what would be low Earth orbit and going deeper.”


To learn more about CommStar Space Communications, visit


Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom © Copyright 2015, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Miss Judged

Filed under Space, Space Foundation, Space4U, Space Technology, space economy, satellites, space infrastructure · Comments

Jack Gregg — Author of ‘The Cosmos Economy’

February 10, 2021 @ 9:18 am

In this episode:

We meet Dr. Jack Gregg, author of the forthcoming book The Cosmos Economy, currently scheduled for publication on March 14, 2021. Dr. Gregg has served in corporate learning as the Founding Dean of the Space Sector Corporate University at Northrop Grumman, and in the nonprofit sector as Executive Director of the California Space Authority.


Dr. Gregg has also held leadership positions in public and private higher education, as Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at Loyola Marymount University, and as Assistant Dean at the University of California-Irvine, California State University-Long Beach, and the University of California-Riverside.


In our conversation, Dr. Gregg discusses what the cosmos economy is, how the drivers for the cosmos economy are different compared to those of the space economy, the role of governments in developing the cosmos economy, and the skills and jobs that are going to be in the highest demand.


Referring to the questions he’s sought to answer in his research and writing, Dr. Gregg says, “What are the industries that will thrive in space? How will space business differ from Earth business? How will the cosmos economy impact Earth’s industries and economy? When will all this stuff start to happen? And how will investors and entrepreneurs know they’re on the right track?”


To learn more about the cosmos economy visit, and to preorder Dr. Gregg’s book, go to


Note: This podcast was recorded in December 2020 and mentions an anticipated publication date for “The Cosmos Economy” in January 2021. The confirmed release date for the book is now March 14, 2021.


Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom © copyright 2015, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Miss Judged

Filed under Space, Space Foundation, Space4U, space economy · Comments

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