DR IGOR Ashurbeyli, Founder of Asgardia, provides insight into how to think about investing in space.
The 21st century space has been typified by the shift in innovation from national space agencies to the private sector, with organisations such as SpaceX and Virgin Galactic becoming the most prevalent players in space exploration.
This has meant that more than ever, space industries are becoming vastly more attractive to investors. Venture capital funds specialising in space industries are thriving, with specialist space business angels emerging as a driving force for start-ups in space.
Space industries are gathering pace at a significant rate, and with space tourism expected to finally start within the next 12 months, it would be fair to say that the next year marks the epoch for a new wave of investors cashing in on space.
With estimates placing space industry revenues reaching a valuation of $1 trillion by 2040, space poses a great opportunity for investors.
Having invested over £10m himself into Asgardia, the first ever space nation, Dr Igor Ashurbeyli – Founder and Head of Nation at Asgardia – has provided insight into which space technologies are likely to offer the best returns:
“There are two crucial factors to consider when investing into space technologies. The first of which is consider what are the long-term trends to emerge within the space industry itself. Space tourism was the sensible bet a few decades back, but soon space habitation will be the next evolution within our grasp.
Secondly, consider the implications that technological breakthroughs will have on human life on Earth. In 2019 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing. The technological developments of that mission have had huge implications on the ways that we have lived our lives since. The lunar drill, created for the mission, revolutionised labour endeavours, leading the way for the creation of cordless, lightweight electric tools. Furthermore, the integration of circuit technology and silicon chips into our consumer technology is now a given in the 21st century. These innovations were all thanks to the developments of the Apollo mission. And you can thank Apollo 11 for Silicon Valley too.
Living in Space
For humans to live in space, we will have to find a way of creating meals that aren’t just limited to hydrated, pre-prepared meals which Astronauts currently consume. Innovations of space food production has come on leaps and bounds in the past 12 months. Aleph Farms helped produce the first 3D bio-printed steaks in space, whilst just in the last few weeks we have seen cookies become the first ever baked good in space. As businesses strive for innovative ways to produce food in space, demand in these businesses will grow. Like the Apollo 11 mission, these business could have a great impact on human life on Earth. In an attempt to cut our carbon footprint, 3D bio-printed foods could serve to be an extremely environmentally friendly method of food production.
Travelling the stars
Investing isn’t rocket science, and neither is investing into rocket science. SpaceX’s 2019 breakthrough of being able to utilise reusable rockets is one of those moments in the industry that was completely game changing. With rockets now set to be far cheaper to use, space tourism will soon be available to the masses. As businesses look to expand their space tourism offerings, investing into producers of rockets and space vehicles will be a very wise move.
In 2016 we at Asgardia launched our very first satellite into orbit, collecting data as it traverses through space. Asgardian citizens also have the opportunity to upload their favourite photos and profile information to our Asgardia-1 satellite. Satellites are now becoming a more personalised object in space, with some online sites now offering consumers with the opportunity to purchase their own mini satellites. With thousands more satellites expected to be launched into orbit over the next decade, people will want protection for their possessions in space. New radar companies such as LeoLabs are providing such technology that allows you to detect objects as small as 2cm, and allow you to relocate your satellite. With SpaceX set to launch their new StarLink satellites that will provide broadband to the most remote reaches of the planet, the protection of communication in space prove to be of great value.”