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Interview synopsis from The Space Show website:
Guest: Debra Facktor Lepore. Topics: Space entrepreneurism, business lessons learned with space businesses. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. We started our first segment with Ms. Lepore telling us about DFL Space LLC and the Stevens Institute of Technology School of Systems and Enterprises. Our first listener question came in soon, asking Debra for her thoughts on space businesses in today's economic climate and what she would be telling her consulting clients given current economic conditions and space industry uncertainties Shortly after Debra responded to that question, John from Montana called in to ask about startup launch companies and relevant business practices. This was a very interesting give and take discussion with our guest outlining several key points and factors for business success including being sure to match personal passion with the daily effort and making sure the entire business team working on the venture is the very best that can be put together for the project. Debra identified other important aspects as well as part of this discussion and she introduced us to the term accidental entrepreneurism. Toward the end of this segment, we talked about the organization Women in Aerospace and the recent awards given out in Washington, DC. As we started the second segment, we talked about the diverse makeup of Women in Aerospace and how it is expanding into foreign arenas starting with Europe and Canada. I then asked Debra to talk about her lessons learned from her space entrepreneurial executive positions, a talk she gave at the recent AIAA meeting in Anaheim, California. In talking about her lessons learned from her diverse experiences, she talked about her work at ANSER, Kistler Aerospace, and at AirLaunch LLC. You definitely want to hear what she had to say about her experiences with these very famous organizations, both in terms of the projects that were underway as well as the business, management, marketing, and financial aspects of the companies. We addressed government contracting, contract termination fees, milestone performance requirements, and the need for cash flow early on in the venture as everything required cash. Tim called in wanting to know what happened to the Kistler hardware. Kelly sent in a note asking if AirLaunch had considered human space flight, and John from Montana commented about the challenges in storing hardware and keeping it in good shape, even operating condition. John in Atlanta called in near the end of the show to ask technical questions, 2nd stage and propellant questions and more. Near the end of the program, a listener asked if ITAR played a role or impacted Kistler in a damaging way. At the end of the program, a Boston listener asked about relevant or compatible business experience to the space venture being pursued. Debra had much to say on this issue so do listen carefully. If you have comments or questions for Debra Facktor Lepore, please post them on the blog and you can send them to Debra at info@DFLspace.com. Make sure to reference Space Show in the subject line. You can also send your comments for Debra to me and I will forward them to her.