167 - Robert Jacobson on Opening The High Frontier for Business


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This week we talk with Robert C. Jacobson, entrepreneur and space industry enabler, advocate, and investor. Jacobson is the founder of Space Advisors, a strategic and financial consulting firm for space startups and organizations looking to establish a space strategy. He also works at the Arch Mission Foundation, which is dedicated to creating civilizational backup libraries, and Space Angels, the world’s first space-focused angel investment group. His new book is Space Is Open for Business: The Industry That Can Transform Humanity (sample it | buy the hardcover).

In this episode, we discuss the bright and dark sides of the emerging space industry — from the inspirational and unifying 1970s visions of Gerard O’Neill to the 2020s’ clash of barons, SpaceX vs. Blue Origin, and the challenges of regulation in a space of blindingly fast innovation and massive inequality.

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Robert Jacobson’s Website | Space Advisors | Twitter | Facebook

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People & Topics in this episode (links go to Future Fossils episodes or my Bookshop storefront):

Gerard O’Neill’s The High Frontier, John David Ebert, Mark Nelson, Armin Ellis, Tanya Harrison, Elon Musk, Philip K. Dick’s The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Geoffrey West, Annalee Newitz, Divya Persaud, Bob May, Jeff Bezos, W. Brian Arthur, Space Force, Arch Mission Foundation, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy (Red, Green, Blue), Robert Zubrin’s The Case For Mars, Robert David Steele, Greg Egan’s Distress

Fermi’s Paradox, Space Anarchy, Frontierism, Civilizational Backups, The Not Insignificant Ethical Issue of Unchecked Mega-Billionaires, Space Isn’t Hospitable, Space Debris & The Tragedy of The Commons, Scaling Laws & Path Dependencies, Can We Make It To Space Before We Eat Ourselves?, Interdisciplinary Innovation vs. Institutional Incumbents & Inhibitory Structure, Space Is For Artists

Other related FF episodes: Kate Greene, Barry Vacker, Jessa Gamble

Program Info:

Music by Future Fossils co-host Evan “Skytree” Snyder.

I transcribe this show with help from Podscribe.ai — which I highly recommend to other podcasters. If you’d like to help me edit transcripts for my upcoming Future Fossils book project, please let me know! I’m @michaelgarfield on Twitter & Instagram.

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And for my fellow guitarists in the audience, let me recommend you get yourself a Jamstik Studio, the coolest MIDI guitar I’ve ever played. I just grabbed one this year and LOVE it.

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