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Investing In The Final Frontier

Tanzeel Akhtar

Could space exploration be the next $1 trillion industry?

A number of organizations are focused on space. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASDA, receives funding from the annual federal budget passed by  Congress. Since its inception, it's estimated the U.S. has spent $601.31 billion on NASA.

'A Shared Passion For Knowledge' 

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, on the outskirts of Geneva has been facilitating the exchange of information between researchers working on the primary mission to discover the laws of the universe.

Over the years, Canada, India, Japan, Russia and the U.S, none of which are part of CERN, have donated materials with values in the tens of millions of dollars.

There's so much more to discover, but that requires funding.

“95% of the universe in still unknown,” Fabiola Gianotti, the director general of CERN, said in a presentation to the World Economic Forum.

"We are all driven by a shared passion for knowledge." 

Morgan Stanley Projects $1T Opportunity 

Andrew Chanin,the CEO of ProcureAM, an ETP product issuer based in New York, highlights figures from the Space Report, published by the nonprofit Space Foundation, which states that the global space economy reached $414.75 billion in 2018.

By 2040, Morgan Stanley estimates that value will nearly triple to $1.1 trillion, which presents a huge opportunity for investors to get in on the ground floor of the “space revolution.”

A number of factors are driving the growth of the space economy, including declining launch costs, advances in technology and increased government spending, Chanin said. 

"Similar to how the first railroads widely expanded the interconnectivity of people and physical goods across the U.S., space-based systems have the potential to dramatically expand our access to digital goods and assets." 

Space transportation systems could lead to the discovery and eventual settlement of new territories.

"This is largely made possible by recent decreases in launch costs. Many types of satellites can now be manufactured relatively inexpensively, and developments like reusable rockets have made launches vastly more cost-efficient," Chanin said.

"By investing in this infrastructure today, we have set the groundwork for advanced space exploration and transportation in years to come." 

Advancements in technology will be instrumental to establishing permanent bases in space and potentially expanding our civilization beyond the confines of Earth, he said. 

"One of the main concerns of space exploration today is the risk posed to humans. We can combat this with the development of more sophisticated drones, robots, rovers, etc. We could even see the rise of autonomous vehicles, 3D printing technology and transportation services that would electronically build the resources humans would require to survive in space." 

Governments are starting to recognize space as the next domain to be colonized, Chanin said.

Price Action 

The Procure Space ETF (NYSE: UFO) was up 1.31% at the close Friday. 

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