Learning from (and Partnering with) Space Entrepreneurs

The X PRIZE Foundation’s Director of Space Projects William Pomerantz discusses how small entrepreneurial companies can partner with larger space firms and government agencies in an article for Ask, NASA’s in-house publication for project management and engineering excellence.

Pomerantz says that although many of the companies who compete in the X PRIZE’s competitions enjoy advantages over larger more traditional aerospace organizations, significant partnership opportunities exist.

“The good news is that, despite the occasional playful bravado of some of the more colorful characters involved in these competitions, all our teams are die-hard supporters of a robust space exploration program and will gladly do their parts. As such, they can function as highly specialized components of the greater aerospace workforce,” Pomerantz writes.

“These small, innovative teams can quickly and cheaply provide services to their larger brethren. Whether it is a Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge team providing a flying platform capable of carrying experimental sensors on dozens of flights a week, or Ansari X PRIZE competitors carrying scientific payloads and their human operators into the blackness of space, or the eventual Google Lunar X PRIZE winners testing systems and returning data that will support NASA’s return to the moon, the entrepreneurial community is poised to help the national space program like never before.”