The Internet has opened up a whole new world in terms of collaboration. Longdistance cyberspace friendships can be of real value when it comes to entering near-Earth space. Communicating through the World-Wide Web was never easier, and such communication has never been cheaper. This factor alone means that collaborations, especially international ones, will be possible like never before. Snippets of information can be instantaneously transferred between continents, enabling the space entrepreneur to share knowledge and ideas at light speed. Those who jealously guard their ideas will only be hurting themselves. Lessons can be taken from both the Wright brothers and Goddard, in this respect (Fig. 11.7).

The high costs of aerospace technology development in the early years of the twenty-first century virtually dictate collaborations for financial reasons alone,

Fig. 11.7 Healthy collaboration is important in any venture. Of course it also helps if you know someone rich. Shown are Walt Disney (left) and Wernher von Braun (courtesy NASA)

unless the company is graced by some kind of financial independence or government contract. The alternative may be stagnation for a venture with otherwise workable ideas. The bottom line is funding. Without it, nothing happens, and no one flies. Even Robert Goddard relied on backing from the Smithsonian Institution to conduct his rocket research.

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