A new space age is upon us. For the first time in human history, tech startups and private companies, spearheaded by some of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the world, are sending humans into space. 

The investing opportunities the space industry offers are massive. From space tourism to satellite broadband, mining to national security, in the coming decades an entire space economy will be created.

What is the Space Industry? 

The space industry is composed of companies that manufacture components that will go into the Earth’s orbit and beyond, as well as the services associated with space travel. There are three major categories in the space industry: spacecrafts, ground support equipment, and the launch industry.

Spacecrafts are vehicles, manned and unmanned, used in space. These vehicles support a variety of applications, such as exploration, communications, navigation, and transportation. The industry includes satellites, space probes, cargo transporters, rovers, and software.

Ground support refers to the equipment used to service spacecraft. It includes manufacturing of control stations, mobile terminals, VSATs, gateways, and specialized equipment manufacturers.

The launch industry focuses on the process by which spacecraft are launched from our planet into space. It includes equipment, machinery, and launching vehicles, as well as the services that go along with it.

Why Invest in the Space Industry?

The space industry is growing rapidly. Morgan Stanley estimates that the global space industry could generate revenue of more than $1 trillion or more in 2040, up from $350 billion, currently. Bank of America’s forecasts are even more ambitious, estimating a $1.4 trillion-dollar market by 2030.

These impressive growth estimates are a direct result of the changes in the economics of space travel. According to NASA, launch costs that had held steady over the 30 year period between 1970 and 2000 have fallen by a factor of seven. It now costs just $432 to send one pound into low earth orbit in 2020, compared to an estimated $38,734 in the early 1980s. 

Costs have plummeted due to the creation of equipment and vehicles that are more reliable, adaptable, and efficient. Many of the rockets that are launched today are reusable and the size of satellites have shrunk dramatically. 

The rapid decline in the cost of satellites will soon bring a surge in the number of orbiters collecting data. That data can then be used by businesses for everything from predicting the weather to facilitating insurance claims

Another potential opportunity is mining in space. NASA recently awarded contracts to four companies to extract tiny amounts of lunar regolith (loose unconsolidated rock and dust) by 2024. This could open up the potential for both moon mining, and asteroid mining, with work already being conducted on NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft to study an asteroid with an estimated mineral value measured in the quadrillions of dollars. 

As a result, commercial space ventures are drawing record levels of funding as investors rush to tap into the market. Total venture capital investment in the space industry increased by 95% to $8.7 billion from 2020 to 2021. This increase of investment is an indication that private capital markets understand the potential of the space industry.

How to Invest in the Space Industry

Selecting individual stocks in the space industry can be challenging. That’s because most of the public names offering exposure to the industry have limited exposure as a percentage of future revenue, and those laser-focused on conquering the industry are private. This is why the best solution is gaining exposure to the sector through space-focused ETFs. A simple search on Magnifi indicates numerous ways for investors to access these funds with low fees.

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The information and data are as of the October 14, 2021 (publish date) unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This blog is sponsored by Magnifi.

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