Virgin Galactic’s Founder Went to Space… What’s Next for Investors?
On Sunday, my friends and I excitedly texted each other about the historic moment about to unfold…
Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE), was heading to space.
It was another giant leap for an industry that’ll see meteoric growth over the next decade. And it’s something we’ve been talking about in Profit Trends for quite some time.
If you haven’t yet acted on the opportunities ahead for the commercial space industry, just know that Branson’s flight was only the beginning.
One Giant Leap…
“I’m not taking that trip [to Mars] until Elon Musk sends his mother and brings her back alive. Then I’m good…”
That’s what astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson – the man who demoted Pluto – wrote during a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session back in April 2017.
Tyson’s point was that being an astronaut – professional or amateur – is dangerous. It requires brave individuals to actually sail off the edge of Earth.
Over the past decade and a half, the space industry has been privatized. The world’s governments are unable or unwilling to spend the fortunes needed to send humans to the stars. So that void has been filled by entrepreneurs. And we’ve witnessed the ascension of billionaire space barons, like Branson, Jeff Bezos and Musk, to name a few.
Some innovative minds, like Musk, dream of seeding the solar system and beyond with humans. They have an Expanse-like sci-fi fantasy of colonizing Mars.
But others have their sights set on somewhere a little closer to home… for now.
For instance, at the end of June, Virgin Galactic became the first company to receive a license from the Federal Aviation Administration to send customers to space. It is now officially the world’s first “spaceline.”
Now two of those billionaire space barons are putting their money where their mouths are.
On Sunday, a week before his 71st birthday, Branson took flight in his own ship to suborbital space.
Next, Amazon’s (Nasdaq: AMZN) founder and former CEO, Bezos, will launch into space on July 20 aboard his Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle.
This truly illustrates that we’ve entered a new era for the commercial space industry.
And with it comes the excitement that space travel not only may soon be attainable for everyone (albeit only the wealthiest of elites at first) but also could be a huge opportunity for investors to profit.
A Ticket to Ride
As I’ve outlined here before, the space tourism industry is projected to be worth $8 billion by 2030. (Though that’s only a small slice of the $1.4 trillion the commercial space industry will be worth by then.)
At the moment, despite ticket prices of $250,000, Branson’s Virgin Galactic already has more than 600 people signed up to take flight when commercial operations set sail next year. It is far and away the leader in this category.
Many naysayers lament that commercial space travel is for only the most elite. And for now, that’s very true.
But they’re missing the larger picture. Tourism is only one side of the business model.
The true opportunity for Virgin Galactic – as well as for SpaceX, Blue Origin and a growing number of competing space companies – is point-to-point travel.
This is essentially leapfrogging from one point on Earth to another via suborbital spaceflight.
This could provide much faster travel times. For example, a flight from London to Sydney takes more than 20 hours by conventional air travel. That same trip could be made in less than an hour with point-to-point suborbital flights.
The projections for point-to-point transport are roughly $20 billion per year. And the majority of that won’t be people but cargo.
At least at first… until people’s fears regarding safety are alleviated. And they know that their mothers and grandmothers can happily travel without coming to harm.
But these tourism and transport figures are only thin slices of the projected $1.4 trillion commercial space industry pie.
And as the private sector continues to gain ground, the opportunities for investors are increasing.
And on the horizon, other commercial space operators – like Momentus, Rocket Lab, Redwire Space and Virgin Orbit, the sister company of Virgin Galactic – are scheduled or in talks to go public as well.
We’re witnessing one of the most exciting periods for not just investors and innovators… but all of humanity.
Right now, you may not be able to afford a seat on one of Virgin Galactic’s maiden flights. But, as investors, we can position ourselves on the ground floor of what will likely be a world-changing trend.
Here’s to high returns,