Welcome to the space race: the most comprehensive analysis of the space industry on the internet
Skip to the end for a TL:DR, but read if you want to be an informed investor/participant, a deep understanding will help you spot big potential and make the most money investing in this sector.
In the past few years, it has been no secret that Russia has been struggling to remain a global superpower in the face of the ongoing US- China struggle to be the one world superpower. But if y’all aren’t plugged into news about what the National space agencies have been up to recently, you may be shocked to see just how quickly we will become a multi planetary species.
When making money in the market, the key is to find market inefficiencies. Blind spots where, for whatever reason, the money invested doesn’t match a truly fair market price for whatever reason. I’m this situation I’m making the case that the space industry is grossly undervalued across the board and that inefficiency is driven by a fundamental misunderstanding of the massive impact three global superpowers will have when they decide to compete.
What’s the deal with China?
Earlier this year, China sent a warning shot to the world by successfully landing a rover on Mars. Never before has a country been able to successfully land on Mars on their first try. Not only that but on the same mission China also successfully sent their first Martian orbiter and lander (which carried the rover), an incredible and historic feat of engineering and a true statement of a country trying to show off their prowess.
Both China and the US sent a major rover to Mars this year, but for very different reasons. The US sent Perseverance which will investigate and take samples from an ancient river delta which was chosen as it is the meeting point between multiple different unique landscape features, a river, the delta, the sea, and dry land nearby. The purpose is to look for further signs of water and possibly life while gaining a deeper understanding of the geological reality of Mar’s past. On the other hand, the Chinese Zhurong rover landed on a sandy sea bed, a single flat geographic feature that covers miles. Their rover is equipped with ground penetrating radar in addition to many other highly specialized instruments whose purpose is to discover subsurface water deposits and track the geology of the landscape to find the best place for a future manned Martian base. This is a big deal. It shows very high levels of coordination and direction by China to prioritize manned landings.
After being banned from the International Space Station by an act of US congress, China has now recently deployed their own space station, and 3 Taikonauts (US=Astronauts, Russia=Cosmonauts, China=Taikonauts) have been orbiting earth for months now.
What about Russia?
Russia has languished in the face of the fall of the USSR and the in the face of US space failures to find a comfortable spot as the worlds only access to space with their Soyuz rocket (until SpaceX successfully sent the Crew Dragon on the Falcon 9 last year). For years Russia has cut its space spending and has looked other places, but that is changing and they are getting much more ambitious. Russia has announced a joint Russia China plan for a manned lunar base by a rumored date of 2031.
In bigger news, Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency, has announced some pretty significant plans to reinsert Russia into the forefront of space by developing a massive space tug named Zeus, which will be capable of using a laser weapons system and EMP blasts to target and disable other spacecraft. (Yes you are in a timeline where in the next decade of two we may have laser battles in space, though it’ll be a lot different then Star Wars). The reason for this massive proposed spacecraft is to create the ability for Russia to established not just a manned Martian base, but to create the first full sized nuclear power plants on the red planet with which they plan to power the aforementioned Martian base.
What about America?
NASA is beginning to transition away from the fantastic rovers and unmanned machines currently exploring manned missions. The Artemis program plans to put a man and a woman on the moon in 2024 and to reestablish regular manned missions to the moon. NASA shocked the world by choosing the Spacex designed and highly ambitious Human Landing System (HLS) which is simply a renovated Starship model made to be landed on the moon and left on the moon to serve as a main base and habitat for future missions. This rocket will have the payload capacity to ship a city to the moon, as it is being developed for the express purpose of colonizing Mars efficiently. If y’all have seen the immense size of starship you’ll know that it makes sense to put on the moon as a habitat as it is the largest and most powerful rocket ever made (beating the Saturn V) and the upper stage (which would land on the moon) is 30 feet in diameter and 160 feet tall, as high as a 15 story building.
What is the rest of the world up to?
Long story short, everyone wants in on this space race. I’ve listed a few of the most major secondary players here.
Japan and their JAXA space agency is planning on launching the Mars Moon Explorer to find the origin of Phobos and Deimos. It also is partnering with the US Artemis program and assisting in the scouting of locations with a recent rover. It has in the past planned on building a robotic lunar base.
The European Space Agency has announced that they “do not want to be left behind” and will be putting the first European on the Moon Im the next decade, with eyes toward potential manned missions to Mars.
The UAE gave inspiration to the middle eastern nations by sending a satellite to Mars on their first try. They have a space agency in its infancy, but if the world is struggling to dominate space have no doubt that the billions and billions in oil money in the region will turn their eyes toward space once things continue to ramp up.
Saudi Arabia’s tyrant prince MBS has been very creative, sometimes in ridiculously stupid ways, with his money and as the entire world shifts to look to the stars I could see him jumping at the idea and putting all his money towards extraterrestrial goals.
Never forget ISRO! Possibly the single most impressive space agency in the world, the Indian Space Research Organization is known worldwide for being the most efficient and low cost space agency arguably in history. They operate with budgets in the millions, not billions, but have used the engineering sector that is famous in India to consistently find the best and cheapest engineering solutions that override more expensive options. They have launched the most satellites on a single rocket, they have sent successful missions to the moon, and have an orbiter currently around Mars. They’ve never been given a big boy budget but have been scrappy and still established themselves as a major player in space alongside the likes of NASA, ESA, JAXA, Roscosmos, and the Chinese space agency. They have plans to ramp up development of super heavy lift rockets and establish their own space station and lunar bases in the future, and with proper funding I have no doubt they will be able to accomplish all of their plans.
Lastly we have the growing British ambitions to colonize (oof) space which, since Brexit, has been a major national focus. They have three spaceports being built on the island and have a growing and ambitious space industry.
What is the private sector up to?
The US has the biggest and most thriving private space sector in the world. Obviously SpaceX is revolutionary and will be a multi trillion dollar company in the future if even half of their ambitions come true. But that’s isn’t everything and there are a lot more companies who can and will find success as well. As for news, Elon will be sending a mission to the Asteroid Belt next year to gather data and begin the process of capturing an asteroid to be mined and sent back to earth. Even this one asteroid has more Platinum then the entire crust of Earth. It is worth Approx 7TRILLION DOLLARS, although the prices of metals will of course not stay as high as today once asteroid mining becomes a thing.
Rocket Lab is an excellent company and will likely be the second largest space company behind SpaceX moving forward. As it develops the Neutron medium lift rocket it begins to directly challenge the falcon 9 as a direct alternative. With time they plan on making the rocket human rated, officially moving beyond the small sat market into a prominent role in the space race. (I’m balls deep in their stock, they merge with a SPAC on the 20th of August). They will be sending a Venusian mission to our less red neighbor in 2022 to show off the usefulness of their commercially available photon spacecraft which will launch atop their electron rocket and is capable of interplanetary travel. A very very cheap and reliable alternative to the expensive and uncertain task of R and D that many less prominent national space agencies would want to partake in. Rocket Lab is gonna be huge.
Astra is a company I am very bullish on, but in the broader scale they won’t be the biggest or most consequential company. They will be worth many multiples what they are worth now as they are set to dominate the small launch market with the development of mass produced and simple small launch vehicles meant to be shipped globally in standard shipping containers to launch anywhere. See my other DD for more on them.
A company to watch for is Relativity Space which has yet to ever launch, but has developed very impressive techniques to 3D print entire rockets. It’s a darling of Silicon Valley and a lot of big money wants it to succeed. It’s definitely in its infancy.
The Sierra Nevada Corporation is set to dominate Low Earth Orbit with its impressive starship named Dream Chaser, which is planning on docking with the ISS in the near future.
Axiom is a phenomenal company that will create the first space hotel and ours destination when it builds a private commercial space station connected to the ISS before detaching and serving as the very first commercial space station in history. It is a great company, expect big things from them.
Blue Origin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and the other big space companies are kinda shit stains that have no business being mentioned. They have all taken the slow and steady approach that leads to NASA giving billions in profit year after year to cope with perpetual delays. They are bureaucratic nightmares with price gouging on every component at almost every level, and they have served to suck dry the innovation and speed of NASA for the past 30 years. They will either revolutionize and begin to match the pace of rapid innovation and development seen across the rest of the industry or they will die, as they deserve, a long slow painful death. Invest at your own risk, these are cash cows being milked by the rich to the detriment of science, exploration, development, and the public good. I equate this company with the military contractors who charge the US taxpayers thousands of dollars for a $5 bolt or hundreds of dollars for cheap food etc.
Y’all this shit is massive. The entire space industry has never been around until now, and as this space race heats up I see a decade of growth similar only in scale to the development and deployment of the internet. Pay attention because the next Amazon, and Google are very likely SpaceX and Rocket Lab. With asteroid mining, lunar bases, Martian bases, space tourism, the usefulness of manufacturing in space, and the space niches that we have yet to discover or develop, this is gonna be huge. It is a tremendous market inefficiency because the old guard sees Boeing and other aerospace companies and their slow pace of innovation and think that’s it, while the whole sector is being forged and developed rapidly under their nose. This is how we, normal people, make money because I guarantee the most optimistic forecasts for the growth of the industry will already be outdated in just 2 years. It’s gonna be a boom, because the three largest super powers all want to play in space and will put their weight as countries behind that goal.
Where there is money to be made now:
If you made it this far let me tell you where I think the most money will be made in the short term. Astra and Rocket Lab are both priced as startups who will not be big players for years, when in reality they are both already massively integrated and well developed companies that have tremendous capacity for growth. They both have contracts with NASA and Space Force, and they both are trading way way way undervalued rn.
Astra is launching their first commercial payload and their first mission to orbit on the 27th of August which is likely to majorly move markets and push their share price higher. I’m already balls deep in their calls as well as Rocket Lab, who will merge and go public on the 20th. Over the next three weeks these two companies could double or more in value relatively easily.
TL:DR; the future is now and the Space Race is going like never ever before, and you can make big money if you understand what everyone’s doing and how it’ll affect everyone else. Potentially 3 manned Martian bases in 15 years and like 5 potential lunar bases in the next decade. Asteroid mining and private interplanetary exploration next year from SpaceX and Rocket Lab, and Axiom will create the first space hotel/private space station by 2025. There are billionaires to be made and Elon will prolly be the first trillionaire. Don’t sleep on the industry, and Astra and Rocket Lab are both publicly traded today and could both more then double in valuation in the next three weeks. I’m bullish as hell. I’ve eaten all the crayons, I’m all in.
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August 13, 2021 at 09:01AM