Civilization Builders: The Case of Space Entrepreneurs

Enrico Beltramini

This paper addresses the current notion of space entrepreneurship through the history of RpK, a commercial space transportation company. From 2006 to 2013, the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program administered by NASA endeavored to stimulate U.S. commercial space transportation capabilities by pursuing a new way of doing business with industry. In August 2006, NASA selected SpaceX and RpK as its first COTS partners. The history of RpK revels the selective path to success that is available for space entrepreneurship between governmental regulations and financial requirements.