NASA Blasts Off Into Private Equity Space

Feb 10 2006 | 10:02pm ET

Did you have dreams of becoming an astronaut when you were young? Well, if you are a private equity manager you may still be able to achieve that goal of venturing into the great unknown, sort of. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has issued an RFI for a portfolio manager to pilot its latest project, a private equity investment vehicle, codename, Red Planet Capital.

NASA is making $11 million available for the fund in its first year, and is likely to make follow-on commitments of $20 million per year. The RFI stated that the Red Planet Capital fund "will be an investment vehicle used to support innovative, dual-use technologies which will help NASA achieve its mission, but will also help better position these technologies for future commercial use." This is the first time NASA has explored using a private equity fund to spur the development of technologies. However, Melissa Mathews, a spokeswoman for NASA, said that there is a precedent in the government.

"It is being modeled on In-Q-Tel," she said, explaining that In-Q-Tel is a private equity vehicle funded by the Central Intelligence Agency. "The goal is to help us identify emerging companies that will help us meet our later goals, such as technology for water recycling or the ability to do fixes on hardware while in space," she said.

The new fund will invest primarily in early stage ventures and the government may not necessarily be the primary customer.

More information can be obtained by contacting Lisa Lockyer, acting deputy director of NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program. She can be reached by phone at 202-358-5227 or via e-mail at lisa.l.lockyer@nasa.gov


In Depth

Q&A: Neil Azous Talks Global Macro Investing

Nov 24 2014 | 12:41pm ET

Neil Azous is the founder and managing member of Rareview Macro, an advisory firm...

Lifestyle

Griffin Selling Chicago Apartment

Nov 26 2014 | 11:40am ET

Citadel Investment Group’s Kenneth Griffin is making clear to his estranged wife...

Guest Contributor

Why The Big Money Is Going To Europe

Nov 14 2014 | 6:03am ET

Peer-to-peer lending was invented with the individual investor in mind. But despite...

 

Sponsored Content

    For Hedge Funds, Mastering Data Is Key To Success

    Nov 4 2014 | 9:45am ET

    Data management is important to every business, but for hedge funds, it is critical. FINalternatives recently asked Peter Sanchez, CEO of Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services, how fund managers can deal with the demands of managing data while at the same time remain transparent and abide by operational best practices. Read more…

Editor's Note

    Guidelines for Guest Articles

    Oct 22 2014 | 9:46am ET

    We are always looking for guest articles from hedge fund managers and buy-side firms.

    If you are interested in submitting a contributed piece for possible publication on FINalternatives, please take a look at the specs. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

November 2014 Cover

Building a better market

Reg NMS created a huge bifurcation in equity markets and while much of what has followed has been positive, in terms of lower fees and greater liquidity, many traders would like to see the market come...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.