Spaceport Associates

Commercial Space Developments

Who Are We?

Derek Webber is author of four non-fiction books about the history and future of commercial space, space tourism, and space exploration. He has designed this website to be a useful educational resource for journalists, academics, and newcomers to the fields of commercial space exploration and space transportation.

Derek Webber
Spaceport Associates Founder Derek Webber at the UN COPUOS, Vienna, June 2019

Derek Webber, a former satellite and launch vehicle systems engineer, Head of Procurement at a satellite services organization, and Managing Director of a satellite broadband provider, has citations in "Who's Who in Science and Engineering" and "Who's Who in the World", and has made contributions to the creation of the space tourism industry and commercial space exploration initiatives for over two decades. Webber has four published books available from Amazon: The Wright Stuff about the history of aviation and rocketry and the emergence of space tourism, No Bucks, No Buck Rogers about the creation and future of the commercial space business, Afterglow, which documents the stories of the first 24 Moon travelers, and their visions for the future of space travel, and Space Tourism Business: The Foundations. The last three of these are also available directly from the publisher at He was awarded a certificate of recognition for his contributions by the Space Tourism Society at its Orbit Awards event in 2006 and received an award for “contributions to space activity and particularly private access to space” from the International Academy of Astronautics in 2011. He was Vice Chair of a panel of nine international judges of the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition, and has also been advocating for the inclusion of space settlement as a long term goal of US space policy. He has originated the "Gateway Earth" concept as a way of exploring the solar system by using space tourism revenues to augment government funds. Webber contributed effort to the preservation of legacy sites on the Moon thru being on the leadership board of the non-profit “ForAllMoonkind”. Webber led the Working Group on Lunar Commerce and Economics for the Moon Village Association, which has Observer status at the United Nations in Vienna, producing the milestone reference document the Lunar Commerce Portfolio which identified and codified the possible lunar markets and their interaction.


  • End of operations. Site remains open for educational purposes only.


  • Member of Review Board for the payload of the Lunar Surface Mission of the Moon Village Association

  • Reviewer for the Benefit-Sharing Working Group of the Moon Village Association, working to balance the needs of lunar commerce with obligations in international space law for sharing of opportunities and resources.

  • Co-author of paper “Lunar Commerce Portfolio: Characterizing the structure, actors, and revenue potential of the emerging lunar economy” presented at International Astronautical Congress in Paris.

  • Launch of the Lunar Commerce Portfolio at the joint NSS/MVA Workshop and Symposium in Los Angeles, California.

  • Arranged for Partnership between MVA and Bocconi University (Milan) to continue to support developments of the Lunar Commerce Portfolio and its constituent models.

  • Lecturer for 5-Lecture course at Coastal Senior College Maine – Subject is the rationale for space travel.

  • Leading a Scenarios Task Force within the Working Group on Lunar Commerce and Economics of the UN Observer NGO The Moon Village Association.


  • Interviewed by journalist Tony Wood for his article in the Philadelphia Inquirer “Is space tourism ready for takeoff?”

  • IAC Dubai – Virtual Webinar presenter and panelist “Designing a Geostationary Space Station”.

  • Developed comprehensive forecasts for lunar space tourism – to be used in developing revenue forecasts within the Moon Village Association for the “Lunar Commerce Portfolio”.

  • Panel member and presenter during the Moon Village Association’s annual workshop.

  • Appointed as Observer in the UNCOPUOS Global Expert Group on Sustainable Lunar Activities (GEGSLA).

  • Provided visiting lecture on creativity at University of Southern California, LA’s Department of Astronautical Engineering

  • Presented on “Commercial Potential of the Moon” in Public Webinar for Moon Village Association

  • Made presentations as visiting lecturer to the International Space University on the possibilities of Lunar space tourism

  • Contributed Proposition Section to White Paper for Gateway Earth Development Group

  • Established, within the MVA Lunar Commerce and Economics Working Group, dedicated teams to study nine potential future areas of Lunar Commerce

  • Article in The Space Review blog “Why Venture? A Memo for the Biden Administration”.

  • Assisted in early-stage investment for Blu Shift rocket company start-up.

  • Appointed as Co-Chair of Lunar Commerce and Economics Working Group of the Moon Village Association - an NGO with Observer status at the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna


  • Discussions with the Lunar Development Cooperative (LDC) about ways to establish a viable business model for commercial lunar operations.

  • NASA announced the Artemis Accords, which specifically include a section on Lunar Heritage Protection, as advocated by the group ForAllMoonkind.

  • Paper “Opening the Moon for Business” published in Spaceflight magazine.

  • Active in various groups working towards lunar surface habitation and resource development, such as the Moon Village Association (MVA) and The Hague International Space Resources Working Group.

  • Completing the production of the new book "Space Tourism Business – The Foundations" – due for publication by Curtis Press in the summer.

  • Provided Testimony at the State of Maine Committee on Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business in support of Bill LD 2092 establishing the Maine Spaceport Leadership Council.

  • Active in a series of Working Groups studying technologies for working on the Moon, including LEAG, LSIC and SRR.

  • Featured speaker in webinar on Lunar Space Tourism for the UN NGO The Moon Village Association.

  • Article in The Space Review blog related to developing definitions and business structures for lunar market segments: "Lunar Commerce - a Question of Semantics?"

  • Guest on radio show "The Space Show" to discuss possible future commercial markets on the Moon


  • Signed new book deal for a comprehensive space tourism book Space Tourism Business - the Foundations.

  • Presented paper, and member of panel, at UN COPUOS, Vienna, about protecting lunar legacy sites.

  • Full release of US edition of "Afterglow" book

  • Delivered 6 lectures on space exploration as new faculty member of Coastal Senior College, Maine

  • Moderated a discussion on space exploration, following a showing of the movie "Apollo 11" at the Lincoln Theater, Damariscotta, Maine

  • Gateway Earth Development Group paper, author Matjaz Vidmar, accepted for IAC conference in Washington DC, title: "Is the Deep Space Gateway in the Right Place?"

  • 21 Feb 2019 the first of the former GLXP Teams (SpaceIL) launches for the Moon.

  • Article “Protecting our Lunar Legacy” published in the March edition of the European space magazine ROOM.

  • Planned retirement from the developmental aspects to focus on the writing and lecturing side of Spaceport Associates activities.


  • Interviewed for article on space tourism by New York Academy of Sciences.

  • Papers on Gateway Earth developments written and presented by students at the IAF conference in Bremen and at RiSpace in London.

  • Guest on “The Space Show” for broadcast radio and podcast about the new book “Afterglow”.

  • Course accepted at the Coastal Senior College, Maine, based upon the “Afterglow” book, to start in Spring 2019.

  • Submitted regulatory text to the “Building Blocks” document of the The Hague International Space Resources Working Group to protect lunar heritage sites from future mining or tourism activities on the lunar surface.

  • Paper on Lunar Tourism and Heritage Site Protection: "Lunar Tourists - Passing the Driving Test" is presented at RiSpace Conference in London.

  • Article: "NASA's Deep Space Gateway is in the Wrong Place" appeared in the Jan 15th online edition of "Aviation Week and Space Technology".

  • Joined the Leadership Board of the organization "For All Moonkind" working to preserve lunar and other space heritage sites and artifacts.

  • Vice Chair of Judging Panel for Final judging of the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition, with 5 teams attempting Moon landing.

  • Publication of Webber's new book on Apollo era and future exploration opportunities "Afterglow - Reflections on the Golden Age of Moon Explorers" by Curtis Press.

  • Publication of "Space Tourism: The Elusive Dream" by Emerald - one chapter by Webber


  • Writing text for new book on Apollo era, to be published by Curtis Press in 2018

  • Interviewed for article by Kendra Chamberlain in "Downbeat" space blog - "Can space tourism break out of decades of delay?"

  • Interviewed for article by Lucas Laursen, on TED ideas website, related to protecting the lunar heritage sites.

  • Joint author (with Matjas Vidmar) of paper on Gateway Earth for Adelaide International Astronautical Congress.

  • Writing chapter on space tourism developments for 2018 Springer space tourism book.

  • Book No Bucks, No Buck Rogers – Creating the Business of Commercial Space published by Curtis Press, and accepted as course textbook for MBA students at Embry Riddle University, Florida.

  • Guest on “The Space Show” for broadcast radio and podcast about the new book on commercial space

  • Google Lunar XPRIZE judging panel activities related to monitoring the last 5 teams in the competition to land a non-governmental spacecraft on the Moon (Competition ended with no team achieving success before the deadline of end March 2018).

  • Interviewed for "Space News" article on Private Space Stations.


  • Gateway Earth Development Group (GEDG) has paper: "To GEO and Beyond" accepted for Reinventing Space Conference in London

  • Guest on "the Space Show" for broadcast radio and podcast about the GEDG

  • Visit Tel Aviv as GLXP judge to check progress with Israeli team towards Moon landing

  • Initiated website for Gateway Earth Development Group (GEDG) and associated tasks for team members

  • Google Lunar XPRIZE judging – given responsibility for all Bonus Prize assessments

  • Completed manuscript for book on commercial space development


  • Inaugurated Gateway Earth Development Group to continue the work of the Gateway Earth interplanetary architecture and policy initiative.

  • Book contract signed for a new book on Commercial Space Exploration, with manuscript submission due end 2016

  • Presented "Gateway Earth" – Low Cost Access to Interplanetary Space” at Reinventing Space Conference, Oxford, UK

  • Article "Seven Steps to Space Settlement" in Spaceflight

  • Panelist at ISDC 2015, Toronto, Canada for "Enabling Technologies for Space Settlement" panel

  • Selected as a member of the Space Colonization Technical Committee (SCTC) of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

  • Article “Two Small Steps for Mankind” in The Space Review.

  • As a member of the Google Lunar XPRIZE judging panel, determined $5.25 M in Milestone Prizes, presented at a California Awards Ceremony.

  • Article “Commercial space exploration: no longer an oxymoron!” in The Space Review.

  • Chair/Moderator of panel on spaceports at annual conference of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC


  • Author of Chapter 4 on spaceports in the IAA book: Private Human Access to Space Volume 1: Suborbital Flights

  • Member of Technical Advisory Group for the International Standards Organization's Chapter on Aircraft and Space Vehicles (TC-20/SC14).

  • As judge of Google Lunar XPRIZE, monitoring risk-reduction tests of lunar landing spacecraft in India, and at Kennedy Space Center and also NASA Ames.

  • Was guest at a Google Lunar XPRIZE Hangout, interviewed by Dr Pamela Gay, discussing the future of commercial space exploration initiatives at the time of the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11.

  • Interviewed for article "Boldly Go" published in "The Architects Newspaper", March 12th

  • Article "Everest, the camps, and the Sherpas", The Space Review

  • TEDx talk in Budapest, Hungary: "Claiming the Future; Protecting the Past"

  • Interviewed for articles on commercial space in "HGV magazine", Hungary, and "Ciel et Espace", France

  • Presented "Bridgehead - Interplanetary Travel Becomes Routine" at IAA Space Exploration Conference, Washington DC

  • Elected secretary to new subcommittee on Commercial Space Transportation for the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences

  • Chair of panel on International Spaceports at annual conference of the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation, Washington DC

  • Member of Society for the History of Technology


  • Contributed testimony to NRC Committee on Human Spaceflight on the role of human spaceflight.

  • Contributed section to position paper for IAA SG3.9 on Private Human Access to Space.

  • Became member of NSS Space Development Steering Committee.

  • Contributed testimony to State Department ITAR reform committee to recommend removal of sub-orbital space tourism vehicles from Category XV.

  • Appointed official judge for the Google Lunar XPRIZE.

  • Recognition in Buzz Aldrin's new book "Mission to Mars" (pages 64, 65) for commitment to continuing to develop the role of space tourism in support of future exploration missions.

  • Article "Getting to the Edge" in BIS Spaceflight magazine

  • "Leaving the Cradle" op-ed in Space News

  • "An Architecture for Survival" for ISDC 2013, San Diego

  • Provided input for review of "maximum probable loss" methodology at FAA-AST, following recommendations of GAO Study.


  • Interviewed for article on spaceports in New Mexico Business Weekly by Dan Mayfield

  • Article "Inserting the "S" Word: A Modest Proposal", The Space Review

  • Interviewed for article in the Bond Buyer by Kyle Glazier about spaceport financing

  • Contributor to regular FAA-AST COMSTAC discussions about Human Spaceflight Occupational Safety Regulations

  • Paper "A Training Framework for Private Space Travel Operations" for IAC Congress, Naples.

  • Paper "Space Tourism - Essential Step in Human Settlement of Space" for IAC Congress, Naples

  • Interview for John Batchelor Radio Show on space tourism.

  • Advisor for new space tourism market survey and forecast by Tauri/FAA

  • Two papers included in Special Space Tourism edition of Acta Astronautica.

  • Masters course presentation via Skype to Kings College London


  • Wrote chapter on space tourism for a new book on the tourism industry, to be published by Nova in 2012, and titled, "Tourism: Developments, Issues, and Challenges"

  • Interview by Bloomberg News for article on Spaceport America

  • Interview on space tourism for IAASS (Space Safety) Newsletter.

  • Paper on potential markets for Point-to-Point space transportation: "Point to Point People with Purpose" presented to 2nd International IAA Conference on Private Human Access to Space, Arcachon, France.

  • Presentation on "The Long Road to Space Tourism" at the British Interplanetary Society, London

  • Masters Course presentation on space tourism to Kings College London

  • Radio talk show interviews (FL, CA, MA, NM, AZ) about space tourism book


  • Interviews on radio talk shows about the space tourism book

  • Book The Wright Stuff: The Century of Effort Behind Your Ticket to Space published by Apogee in September.

  • Advisor to McGill University study on the business case for a space tourism industry in India

  • Joint paper on price elasticity of demand for orbital space tourism prepared for AIAA conference in Anaheim, CA

  • Full report on Adventurers' Survey made free to the industry

  • Joined faculty of London Institute of Space Policy and Law.

  • Volunteer Docent at Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum

  • Paper on Point-to-point Sub-Orbital space Tourism included in special edition of Acta Astronautica.


  • Appointment as Member of IAA Study Group 3.9 on Private Human Access to Space

  • Interviewed for Voice of America TV documentary about space tourism for broadcast to Asia

  • Visiting Lecturer on space tourism at the California International Business University, San Diego

  • Consulted for a client on how hypersonic point-to-point transport could potentially lead to large markets for orbital space tourism.

  • Consulted for a client on hybrid rocket propulsion.

  • Contributed chapter to Indian book on space law "Space Law: Legal Contours".

  • Interviewed for New Scientist article, by Greg Klerkx, on spaceplanes.

  • Member of "Fast Forward" multi-company study team exploring the possibilities of high speed global point-to-point space transportation.

  • Presented talk "Space Tourism Markets: What We Know and What We Don't Know" at the Google Campus, Mountain View, CA

  • Reviewer for draft space policy report "America's Future in Space" for the National Research Council.

  • Article "Yes we can! How to ensure Change you can believe in for the Space Program", The Space Review.


  • Joint author of paper "Is the World Ready for High-Speed Intercontinental Package Delivery (Yet?)" for International Astronautical Congress, Glasgow, UK

  • Visiting lecturer for Summer School of International Space University in Barcelona, Spain, discussing spaceport design.

  • Contributions to FAA on changes to ATC regulations for public space travel.

  • Member of RLV Taskforce on Training, providing guidance to FAA on space tourism crew and passenger training standards.

  • Session Chair, Ground Infrastructure, 1st IAA Symposium on Private Human Access to Space, Arcachon, France

  • Paper "Point-to-Point Sub-orbital Space Tourism: Some Initial Considerations", Arcachon, France


  • Regulatory Inputs on biomedical regulation and performance targets

  • Contributed Chapter to "Space Enterprise-Living and Working Offworld in the 21st Century" (Pub Springer-Praxis, July 2008)

  • Developed and Presented 10 day course on Space Business, Space Tourism and Spaceport Operations, Brasilia, Brazil

  • Inputs via COMSTAC RLV Working Group aimed at amending ITAR Regulations

  • Lecturer on space tourism at Commercial Space Medicine Workshop, New Orleans, LA

  • Elected Advocate of Space Frontier Foundation

  • Panelist, Space Investment Summit, New York

  • Contributed language to FAA Regulations on Experimental Permits for Reusable Suborbital Rockets.

  • Article "Getting There", The Space Review

  • Entered into Affiliate arrangement with SpaceWorks Engineering, Inc.

  • Paper "Risking Space in the Next 50 Years: Perspectives for Space Tourism", Dallas, TX


  • Chair of panel on space tourism at "Transforming Space" conference

  • Guest on "The Space Show" for Radio and podcast on space tourism

  • Report "The Adventurers' Survey" - with Incredible Adventures

  • Contributed chapters to two books: "Kids to Space" and "Beyond Earth"

  • Proposal writing for client making bid for NASA/COTS funding

  • Paper "Designing the Orbital Tourism Experience", Albuquerque, NM


  • Regulatory Inputs to FAA-AST on Human Spaceflight NPRM

  • Contributed to SEI NESC model for economic development of space

  • Session Chair of space tourism and spaceport panels at ISDC 2005

  • Developed and presented 3 day course on spaceport operations in Brazil

  • Produced business development plan for an orbital tourism operator.

  • Member Expert Advisory Panel for study at LaTrobe University, Australia


  • Centennial Challenges Workshop: suggested achievement prizes

  • Paper "The New Commercial Spaceports", San Diego, CA

  • Article "The Future Starts Here", The Space Review

  • Paper "Space Tourism: the Enabler", Spaceflight magazine, UK

  • TV Interview "Around Space" Fairfax Public Access TV/Channel 10

  • Contributed to ASTWG workshop on future spaceport and ATC systems


  • HR 3245 Commercial Space Act Capitol Hill Meetings with staffers

  • Panelist, Washington Space Business Round Table, Public Space Travel

  • Paper "The First 100 Years of Public Space Travel", Dayton, OH

  • OpEd "The Emerging Roadmap to Space", Space News

  • Report "NASA ASCENT Study of Space Markets", Huntsville, AL


  • Radio Shows KNX LA, W-SYR Syracuse, 971 FM St Louis, etc.

  • TV interview "Direct Connection", Maryland Public TV

  • Report of Commission on Future of US Aerospace Industry-Chapter 3 contribution

  • Report "Space Tourism Market Study Futron/Zogby Survey Report


  • Paper "Markets for 2nd Generation RLV" , Huntsville, AL


  • Paper "Station MIR: First Hotel for Space Tourists?", Albuquerque, NM


  • First life member of Space Tourism Society, Los Angeles, CA

  • Paper “Privatizing Challenges of Station Mir”, Space Governance Journal

  • Paper “Why Develop Space Resources?”, Space Governance Journal