To build the Gateway Spaceport in low-earth orbit we first need to first create a rigid framework, a structure. Before we can build any structure in the space there must be a financial structure down here to grow from. My name is John Blincow I’m President of the Gateway Foundation.
Today we will discuss our business plan. This year marks the 50th anniversary of movie 2001 a Space Odyssey. what the movie shows us most prominently are two key pieces of infrastructure: The first is a rotating spaceport called space station number five, suggesting that there are at least four more. The second is a massive moon base at Clavus and we’re hearing conversations amongst the characters that there are more such bases. These two pivotal depictions of off-world infrastructure show us a future where humankind has extended its reach well beyond our atmosphere and not just for a few people but for millions. This is the future we all want but not one we have pursued. As a young boy in 1968 I thought we would have all this by now or at least a plan of how to do it, but we don’t so in 2012 I started the Gateway Foundation.
In May of 2012 I was looking at an image of a rotating spaceport I thought why don’t we have these? The answer was one word: money, infrastructure sized money. So how do we get that infrastructure sized money? The government won’t do it they have way too many financial problems to commit to something like this even if they realized how important it was. After I reviewed the problem I came up with only one option: a lottery. Lotteries bring in over seventy billion dollars every year in America, 300 billion dollars worldwide. but where do the proceeds go? Schools, Parks and Wildlife, state roads, important things. The goal of the Gateway lottery will be 20% of the world total – sixty billion dollars. We may get more than 20% but we feel that’s a realistic number. Half of the sixty billion dollars would go towards jackpot payouts the other half, the proceeds, would go towards building space infrastructure – a spaceport.
By October 2012 I quit my job as a 747 pilot flying cargo at a Shanghai and devoted all my time towards this project. The Gateway lottery would be a dual priced lottery that will sell tickets online to any person anywhere around the world. The lottery would operate just like any of the lottery the big cash prize and offer about three draws a week. We don’t trust these computer generated random number lotteries so we would use the big plastic sphere with numbered ping-pong balls to generate the winning numbers. Millions of people would play this lottery for the same reason they play lotteries all the time – that jackpot prize in the window. But along with a traditional cash prize this lottery will offer a trip prize. This means that people who want a chance to visit this amazing spaceport could do so for a single lottery ticket. We aren’t the first people to think of using a lottery for things in space, astronaut Buzz Aldrin has been pushing the idea of using a lottery to offer trips to space for over ten years.
On November 25th 2012, I went up to Mojave where I met Jeff Greeson, President of XCore and told him about our plan to build a spaceport with a lottery, then I told them how every month four or five people will win the lotteries non jackpot prizes worth between two hundred thousand and four hundred fifty thousand. When I told him that, I looked at him and said “that’s a very interesting number isn’t it” and he said “Yes, that’s a very interesting number.” Jeff Greeson used to work at Intel and is considered by many as one of the most intelligent people in the space industry. Jeff saw right away how the lottery would not just send people to the Gateway spaceport but also help put thousands of people on suborbital flights. The Gateway Foundation lottery will provide a steady stream of people every month to suborbital operators by buying tickets on suborbital trips for non jackpot winners. The Gateway Lottery will also award trips to non jackpot prize winners in other areas of the space industry like high-altitude balloon rides parabolic flights and trips to launches. The Gateway Lottery could also support many other operations in space travel for instance, you can even have lunar or Martian trip prizes for higher payouts, all of this in addition to the main area of financial support to build a spaceport which includes billions of dollars for launch services Spacecon equipment, training centers for space con workers, and the list goes on and on..
How many thousands of new jobs would be created from all this funding is hard to say but the impact will be significant. Once we start this lottery habitable space will never be small. After the first spaceport is built then the era of space construction will become huge. Investors will see how SpaceCon can make money and many more will be built without using a lottery, just like when they spend billions of dollars building cruise ships every year. We believe the hub and the LGA will be the only large structures built in space using materials from Earth. The MGA, the larger ring built around the LGA will most likely use structural materials from the moon and nearby asteroids. This means that building this first spaceport will foster the formation of yet another important space industry space mining. Building the Gateway spaceport using a lottery will help many other industries but what about the people who want to colonize the Moon or Mars, will building the spaceport help those efforts too? Yes, more than anything. Remember that video of Peter Diamandis talking about space access? He talks about how when you get to orbit you have used two-thirds of your energy just getting to orbit, but then you can go anywhere.
With so many people going to visit the spaceport every year the spacelines that service it will fight for slots and the ones who can do it cheaper will be the ones who get more business, so every year the price for the most expensive portion of going to space will drop. How do I know this? The Los Angeles San Francisco air corridor is one of the busiest corridors in the world. Because so many airlines compete for business you get prices that middle-class people can afford. Once we build a spaceport in low-earth orbit we will have a base for true spacecraft to take people to other places much more efficiently. Earth is a powerful gravity wall that has a thick atmosphere that puts a lot of dynamic pressure on a rocket or a shuttle trying to achieve orbit. Spacecraft built in orbit to take people to the moon or to Mars could be built much lighter since they don’t have to pull 5 G’s at lift off or handle the high vibrations fighting through all that air. The first lottery monies would be to fund any tools and machines needed to build a spaceport: Bots, pods, and drones, arms and spacesuits, and of course the GSAL. Also, a large down payment for launches would go to SpaceX for BFR booster development. Building the Gateway would be an excellent project for SpaceX to develop its booster because as we’ve seen in the past many new rockets can face technical challenges. Should a booster fail launching a load of construction materials it’s not a big loss, you can quickly make more of them. Losing a satellite is far more expensive with insurance rates going up to cover the value of the loss. “it’s gonna be loud!”
Construction materials are far cheaper and easier to replace but the best thing is that a contract for building a spaceport would be a steady income for SpaceX. Other investors in BFR would see the reliable flow of gateway money and invest accordingly. To see such a massive space construction project going to development would give the whole world more confidence that the Golden Age of space travel was just around the corner. But the biggest impact would be giving the most important people in the world a chance to go into space: the middle-class people who paid for it. Every person launched into orbit so far has been on a vehicle paid for by the hard-earned wages of taxpaying people just like you and I, and yet, not only have we never gone up there are no government plans to take us up. To have invested so much for so many years without any personal return is not right it’s time to make that space technology investment pay off. We plan to build this spaceport with you as a tourist we want to launch. The Gateway LGA a will be able to handle over 30,000 people a year with ease after initial rotation. But who? Going to space is expensive. When we learned that a lottery is the best way that we can finance the construction of this spaceport, we decided to build into it a way for middle-class people to get there without losing their retirement fund. The first few years the lottery is running the Trip prize will give out a free trip about once a week. As the lottery grows in popularity it will generate more and more revenue allowing us to hire more construction crews and buy more construction equipment.
As we get close to First Spin-up the number of trip prizes will increase from about one a week to one a day but that’s still only 365 people a year. The number of trip prizes will significantly increase as the price of access to space drops more and more. The Gateway lottery is money outside of government control. This is good. This is important. …”but was once improbable is now inevitable. The time has come to look beyond brief encounters. We must commit ourselves anew to a sustained program of manned exploration of the solar system. And yes the permanent settlement of space. We must commit ourselves to a future where Americans and citizens of all nations will live and work in space. NASA programs are started and killed again again. This is because all their money comes from the government and as administration’s change so too does their mission. NASA’s money is tied to the US government, namely the presidency. This is why Wernher von Braun’s excellent plan of creating infrastructure in low-earth orbit and building our way outward to the moon was doomed. If it can’t be done in two presidential terms the NASA can’t do it. Not anything big. Corporate money has strings too.
When a corporation spends money it must make money, or the board will kill it. These people are often just looking to make more money from the start, and this can create a cycle of decisions based on short-term benefits while sacrificing long-term goals. The Gateway foundation will become a corporation, but with a rather unique set of owners. We call these people the Crew. Apple computers would be out of business without its clientele which buys its phones and it’s computers, The Gateway foundation is lottery is the same. The lottery ties the spaceport directly with the people who fund it. We can’t do this without you. So Warren Buffett’s best advice ever: “Take care of your customer” is something that’s written on our heart. And that’s why we have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. First of all, I’d like to thank all of you who have joined our crew membership. Your help is making a big difference, you have joined an important effort and we are proud to have you with us. Years ago when the Ansari prize was going on. I was watching on TV with my father he said he should have gone up to Mojave and offered help their effort. My dad was a scientist, nuclear physics. His specialty was radiation scintillation. But Dad was also a builder, a doer. I helped him build a few structures and it was an amazing experience that taught me a lot about construction basics. when my dad said he wanted to go up to Mojave and help them it surprised me a little. I knew he liked supporting efforts to advance space technology but I’d never heard from the desire to devote his own time. The most important people in the world to the Gateway foundation are those who have supported this endeavour from the start. These are the people who have joined our Crew Membership.
Every year, Crew Members will be entered into a drawing, and one will be chosen for our free trip to the Gateway. This is not the gateway lottery trip prize, that’s different. As we get closer to first rotation, that number will increase from one a year, to ten year, and then more why? Because when we think of who would want to be at the Gateway with us we think of our crew. How important are the crew? When we hire we look at the crew membership first. If they’re competitive for that position they get first shot at it. Dirt side, or off world. When I work for United Airlines, they did everything by your seniority number. The date-of-hire determined who got on a jet going somewhere. Ground staff or pilot it didn’t matter, your seniority number got you on that jet ahead of everybody else. It’s the same here. Every Gateway Foundation employee gets a free trip to the spaceport, once. If they are hired to work at the spaceport that doesn’t count that’s work. The first thousand people who joined our crew membership are what we call the 1k. They will be entered into a drawing every year for chance to visit the Gateway free. Then there is the 10k of which the 1k are a part of. They too will have a chance for a drawing for a free trip ticket. So the 1k will actually get two chances, the 1k draw with odds at a thousand to one, and the 10k draw with odds of 10,000 to 1. As our membership grows we’ll have a 100k, and a 1M too with the same benefit structure. Someone asked how many Crew they’re are? Join our crew membership and then you will know. If you don’t like your senior at a number that’s okay all Crew memberships are 100% refundable. As the spaceport grows, we will increase the number of free trip drawings across the board of Crew memberships. Those odds are a lot better than playing the Gateway Lottery for a trip prize, whose odds are 290 million:1. This free trip drawing is created to give our Crew members a significantly better chance of visiting the space port they helped build.
As the foundation grows we will add more drawings for people who are NASA employees, SpaceX, ESA, JAXA, and more. Anyone who joins our Crew membership and works in the space industry deserves a chance to visit space. How can we afford to send all these people into space each year? Because nobody will visit the Gateway Spaceport until it’s operational. Once the LGA makes First Rotation, the spaceport will start generating revenue, and it can become cashflow positive. But the Gateway Lottery is still running, making billions of dollars a year. Construction will still be going on, but cheaper now that we are good at it and using materials from space not earth. Now we can use some of the lottery money to pay for trips to the Gateway for trip prize winners, Crew, employees, and more. Slowly we bump up the capacity from 30,000 a year to 50,000. Then we go up to 70, 80, finally a hundred thousand people a year, just as the big MGA ring is ready to be added. By building in sections and increasing capacity as sections are added, we will see revenues increased as the spaceport grows. As more and more people return from there visit to the Gateway with good reviews, the lottery will generate even more revenue. Who will own the Gateway Spaceport? You will, if you’re one of our Crew. Every corporation has an IPO. The stock is first sold to big investors who make a ton of money. Not here. Here, the first people to buy our stock will be our Crew. Crew members will have a chance to buy stock in the order of their seniority numbers, only after that will the big exchanges get a chance to sell our stock. The Gateway lotteries income must be 100% transparent 100% of the time. There can never be any doubt where every dime goes from the time that money comes in until it is spent on materials, launch costs, administration, or SpaceCon machines.
That money will be tracked and on display for the whole world to see. How do you legally start a lottery? The Gateway Lottery could be set up in any state that has the initiative process for legal change. Currently there are 24 states that have the initiative process and we would target those states that support this idea the most. Leading contenders are California, New Mexico, and Washington. The Gateway Lottery could also start outside of the United States in nations that are quick to see the huge benefits of hosting this important project first. When you learn how to build large structures in space what do you do with that knowledge? You pass it on. As we learn how to build, fabricate, and use many different machines and tools and spacecraft we will need thousands of people to be trained how to use that knowledge to create more infrastructure and build large vehicles to populate our solar system. At first this knowledge will be disseminated to universities around the world, but eventually an academy will be need to be built, where young people can attend at no cost to themselves so long as they work operating spaceports spacecraft or building things in space for an agreed period of time. We have lotteries all over the world, why not have one more that will build a spaceport and bring millions of middle class people into space. Nobody plays a lottery that does not want to. Each of us decides when we want to or how much. It’s all your choice. But if we don’t have this lottery then you don’t have this choice, and we won’t have a spaceport for a long long time. But the choice is yours to make, so I know that you will make the right choice. Crowdfunding as we know it today did not exist more than 20 years ago. In 2015 it brought in $34 billion dollars.
We must be open-minded about new ways to raise large amounts of capital. NASA director Wayne Hale said this at the Von Braun’s Symposium in 2015. Quote: “Two years ago I told you a historic tale about the building of the Transcontinental Railroad how that was a great technical engineering feat but the really impressive part was the creative financing and the organization that made it successful.” He goes on to say: “Two years ago I told you that we need to learn from that example, how to be creative, innovative, flexible, and hardworking, not just technically but financially and organizationally as well. So, let’s tally up everything that we would get from the gateway lottery: This lottery would not just build a spaceport, it would support many other industries like launch services, space lines, space mining, even suborbital operations like parabolic flights, and high-altitude balloon flights. It will be instrumental in the formation of a large space construction industry: building tools and machines like pods, bots, drones, and frame building machines. It will also build an academy for people to have careers working off world, and it will subsidize the free trips for thousands of people who support this program as it grows. Most of all it will bring together millions of people from all around the world who believe the humankind’s future should not be confined to one planet.
Space as an investment is likely to impact a number of industries: Morgan Stanley estimates that the revenue generated by the global space industry will increased at one point one trillion dollars or more in 2040 from 350 billion dollars in 2016. Bank of America Merrill Lynch sees the size of the space industry growing over the next three decades to at least 2.7 trillion dollars. They’re both wrong. If we start the gateway lottery then the Gateway spaceport will be built. Once we build the first space port many more will follow. We are now talking about tens of trillions of dollars by 2040 why? Because what we’re really talking about is real estate, and there’s a lot more of it up there than there is down here. Not just on planets and moons, but rotating spaceports and cylinders in orbit that are protected by the Earth’s magnetosphere just as we are down here.
There’s a lot of room up there. Let’s develop that real estate. Let’s start building space ports. Forming a space construction industry, building space ports and other infrastructure in space. This is where it starts. For the first time in history we have a choice. We can start this lottery and create a space construction industry, or we can continue to leave the decisions about our future in space to people who have other priorities. It’s now our choice, because it’s our money. Every structure on earth has a foundation. The Gateway spaceport will have one too. We cannot build this structure without you. You are our foundation, you are the Gateway Foundation. This show is not made for entertainment purposes, this is a plan to build the first rotating spaceport by developing the proper tools and forming a space construction industry.
If you’d like to help this important project, please go to the Gateway Foundation website and join our crew membership. it’s important. Also don’t forget to select the red subscribe button down below. Our next episode will focus on our proposal for the first commercial space construction project in history: The Von Braun project. So long, and see you next time.