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Three Emerging Trends in the Space Industry
Over the past several decades, space and satellite technology has become the invisible foundation of our digital world. 1,700 active satellites are currently orbiting the Earth, and together, they enable many of the technologies we use on a daily basis.
Looking forward, this industry is on the cusp of a significant ramp-up. Recent technological breakthroughs have drastically reduced the cost of rocket launches, and by 2030, analysts expect the number of active satellites to increase by several magnitudes.
Greater satellite coverage is significant because it could unlock futuristic solutions like drone deliveries, or bring internet access to the world’s underserved. To help you learn more, this infographic from MSCI provides an overview of the entire space opportunity.
Emerging Trends in the Space Industry
The space industry is a broad opportunity set which can be divided into three segments.
#1: Products and services focused on orbital and sub-orbital spaceflights
This segment includes reusable launch systems, hypersonic travel, and satellite connectivity. Rocket reusability has the greatest potential because it could greatly lower the cost of launches going forward.
This table lists rocket launch costs in terms of USD/kg.
|2016 Atlas V||United Launch Alliance (ULA)*||$14,100|
|2014 Ariane 5||Airbus||$6,900|
|2015 Falcon 9||SpaceX||$4,700|
|2020 Reusable Falcon 9||SpaceX||$1,800|
|Rapidly Reusable Starship||Theoretical model based on ARK estimates||$200|
*Joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Source: ARK Investment Management (2021)