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    Default The Scramble for Space?

    During the 1800s there was a “scramble for Africa” where various European powers claimed and carved up pieces of Africa. Access to resources and security of navigation around the Cape of Good Hope were key motivations (of course there were other reasons too including inter-state rivalry).

    150 years later, space exploration seems to be taking a “commercial turn” and we might be seeing the beginnings of a scramble for space.

    ~~~

    Is this equivalent to a voyage to find the “spice islands”? Will claims soon be announced?

    Quote NASA's Psyche Mission Has a Metal World in Its Sights

    Designed to explore a metal asteroid that could be the heart of a planet, the Psyche mission is readying for a 2022 launch. After extensive review, NASA Headquarters in Washington has approved the mission to begin the final design and fabrication phase, otherwise known as Phase C. This is when the Psyche team finalizes the system design, develops detailed plans and procedures for the spacecraft and science mission, and completes both assembly and testing of the spacecraft and its subsystems.

    "The Psyche team is not only elated that we have the go-ahead for Phase C, more importantly we are ready," said Principal Investigator Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University in Tempe. "With the transition into this new mission phase, we are one big step closer to uncovering the secrets of Psyche, a giant mysterious metallic asteroid, and that means the world to us."

    The mission still has three more phases to clear. Phase D, which will begin sometime in early 2021, includes final spacecraft assembly and testing, along with the August 2022 launch. Phase E, which begins soon after Psyche hits the vacuum of space, covers the mission's deep-space operations and science collection. Finally, Phase F occurs after the mission has completed its science operations; it includes both decommissioning the spacecraft and archiving engineering and science data.

    The Psyche spacecraft will arrive at Asteroid Psyche on Jan. 31, 2026, after flying by Mars in 2023.

    Asteroid Psyche is one of the most intriguing targets in the main asteroid belt. While most asteroids are rocky or icy bodies, scientists think Psyche is composed mostly of iron and nickel, similar to Earth's core. They wonder whether Psyche could be the nickel-iron heart, or exposed core, of an early planet maybe as large as Mars that lost its rocky outer layers through violent collisions billions of years ago. If so, it would provide a unique look into the solar system's distant past, when the kind of high-speed protoplanet encounters that created Earth and the other terrestrial planets were common.

    The Psyche mission aims to understand the building blocks of planet formation by exploring firsthand a wholly new and uncharted type of world. Along with determining whether Psyche is the core of an early planet, the team wants to determine how old it is, whether it formed in similar ways to Earth's core and what its surface is like.

    The spacecraft's instrument payload includes three science instruments. The mission's magnetometer is designed to detect and measure the remnant magnetic field of the asteroid. The multispectral imager will provide high-resolution images using filters to discriminate between Psyche's metallic and silicate constituents. Its gamma ray and neutron spectrometer will detect, measure and map Psyche's elemental composition. The mission also will test a sophisticated new laser communications technology, called Deep Space Optical Communications.

    The Psyche mission is part of NASA's Discovery Program, a series of lower-cost, highly focused robotic space missions. Psyche Principal Investigator Lindy Elkins-Tanton is the director of ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration. Other ASU researchers on the Psyche mission team include Jim Bell, deputy principal investigator and co-investigator; David Williams, co-investigator; and Catherine Bowman, co-investigator and student-collaborations lead.

    ASU leads the mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is responsible for the mission's overall management, system engineering, integration and test, and mission operations. Maxar Space Solutions, formerly Space Systems Loral, in Palo Alto, California, is providing a high-power solar electric propulsion spacecraft chassis.

    For more information about NASA's Psyche mission go to:

    http://www.nasa.gov/psyche
    From: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nas...-in-its-sights
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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    More on the mission above: The Express (and NBC, their source) seems to think this might be about gold.

    Quote Asteroid BOMBSHELL: NASA plans mission to asteroid that could hold gold worth billions
    NASA is planning to send a probe to an asteroid that could hold thousands of billions of pounds worth of gold, platinum and other special metals.

    By James Bickerton PUBLISHED: 04:57, Sat, Aug 24, 2019 UPDATED: 15:42, Sat, Aug 24, 2019
    Asteroid news NASA scientists


    NASA plans to send a probe to 16 Psyche (Image: NBC News )

    The asteroid, called 16 Psyche, is located in the primary asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. NASA plans to launch a solar powered space probe towards the asteroid in 2022, which should arrive in 2026. It will then spend two years investigating the asteroids metallic composition.

    Telescope observations suggest it is primarily made up of nickel and iron.

    However according to NBC News experts believe it could also contain precious metals such as gold and platinum, which may be worth thousands of billions of pounds.

    NASA has ambitious plans for both manned and unmanned space travel in the next decade.

    NASA wants to resume human space missions from American soil for the first time since the space shuttle program ended in 2011.

    Vice President Mike Pence announced in March that he wanted to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024, despite setting his previous goal at 2028.

    American astronaut Eugene Andrew Cernan was the last man to walk the moon in 1972.

    US President Donald Trump is yet to make it clear whether he supports the mission.

    The president urged in June for NASA to focus on “much bigger” initiatives like going to Mars.

    Speaking to engineering students at the University of Colorado Boulder on Friday NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine suggested an all female crew could be sent on the mission.

    A student asked during the live-streamed session if NASA had considered sending an all-female crew for the Artemis session.

    Mr Bridenstine said: "Have we considered it? Yes, and it wouldn't surprise me if that's what we did.”

    He also said the crew had not been picked yet but that the first American woman and the next American man will visit the moon by 2024.

    He continued: "We could have a crew of two women going to the moon within five years.”
    From: https://www.express.co.uk/news/scien...mpression=true
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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    This may also be relevant here:

    Quote Posted by Cara (here)
    This is a useful summary of the state of play in the space sector.

    Quote Private Investment in Space Blasts Off
    by Sarah Feldman ,Oct 7, 2019
    Space Investment

    Space Week runs through Thursday, an international week where science and technology are celebrated. NASA is dealing with some more terrestrial problems, though. The agency is gearing up to secure over $22 billion from Congress next year to realize the Trump administration’s goal of putting U.S. astronauts back on the moon. Even with these funding woes and sky-high aspirations, NASA’s annual budget dwarfs the amount of private investment being channeled into space ventures.

    The funding NASA has received in the 21st-century totals around $381 billion, while private investment over the past two decades is just over $17 billion. Despite that clear advantage, private investment in space has taken off in recent years, increasing close to 400 percent over the past decade, while NASA’s budget has largely flatlined. NASA’s budget is much smaller than it once was. In the 1960s, during the heart of the Cold War space race, NASA received a budget worth about $50 billion in today’s dollars.

    Private investments and commercial projects have tried to find their footing among the stars. Private ventures into space have increased astronomically since the beginning of the 21st century.

    Infographic: Private Investment in Space Blasts Off | Statista

    Description

    This chart shows private and public investment in space over the course of the 21st century.

    Download Chart
    From: https://www.statista.com/chart/amp/1...mpression=true

    ~~~

    A question: will we soon see modern, space equivalents of the British East India company? Or are those players already on the stage?
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    This space research project, when regarded for its commercial potential from mineral mining, raises some interesting issues:

    1) Ownership of space based assets: since this research is being funded by the American taxpayer, the logical conclusion is that a commercially viable mining projects that result from this research should be owned by the taxpayer, or they should receive royalties from, such ventures. All too often, the taxpayer funds research and then the results are given to private enterprise for no or little charge. Given the potential of trillions of dollars in value, this is a significant issue.

    2). Taxation of space enterprise: there are numerous legal articles on the difficulty in taxation of space based enterprises. Conventional taxation models are based on physical 'residency' of a person or enterprise. This model doesn't seem to suit off-world activity, so a new taxation regime likely needs to be devised for this phenomenon. A link to a recent article on this topic follows.

    http://kluwertaxblog.com/2019/09/27/...inal-frontier/

    3). Regulation of space activities and enterprise: The emphasis of getting military boots into outer space by the Trump administration, the new Space Force, hilites the importance of regulatory control over space.

    This documentary exposes that the u.s.a. has already militarized space:



    4) Secret Space Program Omission: unfortunately, the true narrative of the current state of human space technology is totally omitted in this dialogue. The SSP does exist and is flourishing, likely engaged in trade with multiple ET species, and although this was funded by taxpayer dollars, the taxpayer has not seen the benefits of this advanced technology:

    TR-3B, the manmade black flying triangle

    Last edited by Justplain; 12th October 2019 at 02:52.

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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    There have been stories on the web about almost planet sized space ships shaped like a cube as well as others shaped like complete orbs (close to the sun). It occurred to me that out of triangular shaped space ships could be constructed cubes by the mechanism of hinging the sides to each other and providing angular movement to those hinges. This would permit them to move extremely heavy and bulky objects up to space platforms for construction, etc.

    Only recently, I learned of the flying shapes called TIC TACS; and I accidentally came across the video about the construction of the space platform which is planned as a rotating wheel to provide artificial gravity. On the outer perimeter of the wheel are these TIC TAC shaped units, very large, sponsored by various organizations involved in the space program bearing their logos. The design permits occupants to leave their TIC TAC and walk through spokes of the wheel to the center hub which accommodates visiting spacecraft.

    MANUFACTURED LIVING SPACEROBOTS designed and grown to be an extension of the craft they fly. Their heads and brains contain the resident programs and main controls of the craft of which they are a part and the craft is merely an extension of their command mechanism, something like wearing a pair of roller skates. I believe that the radiation from the craft disintegrates human blood vessels causing bleeding and subsequent death. We would have to design our own space AI's to duplicate this union of craft and pilot.

    ET ALMOND SHAPED EYES consist of a specially designed cover, something like sun glasses. However, I believe that these are actually COMPUTERS which facilitate mind reading or telepathy and the giving of ORDERS to our subconscious minds which by-pass our conscious volition, rendering us like robots, among other possible tasks they need to do.

    If you were intelligent beings who needed to learn and explore the Universe and spread life forms to other worlds, planet form other orbs to sustain life forms, etc., you would need to design AI's to perform the tasks of harvesting Found DNA from one life form to others in an effort to design species to survive in varying planetary environments. I believe our planet has been used as a species garden where these space engineers who create new life forms come to harvest DNA and grow new species in huge mother ships. They then deposit these on worlds perhaps Universes away. This would have to be performed by possibly Galactic Associations. Accordingly, IT IS THEY WHO ARE THE HIDDEN POWER BEHIND THE POWERS THAT BE ON THIS PLANET. THE INNER EARTH GIANTS WOULD THEN BE CONNECTED TO THOSE INTER-GALACTIC LIFEFORM ENGINEERS.
    Last edited by amor; 12th October 2019 at 22:37.

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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    Further to the above, the bug-eyed Aliens who are taking genes from family lines in order to replicate their former bodies as humans have reportedly come from 45,000 years in our future where they bio-engineered themselves to the point where they cannot successfully reproduce. They find families from their past, and take from each successive generation of that family sperm and eggs to conceive with one of their own a new human. They will probably remain in orbit around Earth if they know that Earth will be destroyed. After that, they will reoccupy. Kerry Cassidy should have fun with that one if she makes a film. They may also send some back to their future timeline if they can find it. They may find one similar to it as there are many similar timelines.

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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    Quote Posted by Cara (here)
    During the 1800s there was a “scramble for Africa” where various European powers claimed and carved up pieces of Africa. Access to resources and security of navigation around the Cape of Good Hope were key motivations (of course there were other reasons too including inter-state rivalry).
    Somewhat prior to the Scramble, there was Belgian Congo, which is perhaps the longest-running conflict in the world, related to the Coltan used in cell phones, etc., now it is also uranium in Mali, the African theater is perhaps only in its infancy. This is immediate and serious. Generally, African countries are sick of western exploitation and look more towards Chinese assistance.

    The weird asteroid could well be a planetary core. Our Moon could be a spent planet, "captured" by Earth's gravity.

    Even if the asteroid happened to be pure, solid platinum, I am skeptical about the ability to mine it. Chances are stronger we will end our species before surmounting the difficulties in doing this.

    I do not personally object to some of my taxes going to space exploration, but, if something of value could be returned, then yes, it sounds likely that it would find its way into private pockets.

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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    Quote Posted by shaberon (here)
    Our Moon could be a spent planet, "captured" by Earth's gravity.
    Or something significantly and entirely different!

    Quote Posted by shaberon (here)
    Even if the asteroid happened to be pure, solid platinum, I am skeptical about the ability to mine it. Chances are stronger we will end our species before surmounting the difficulties in doing this.
    Whether we can mine it or not seems relatively insignificant. To me it seems like a fool's errand for a fool's gold. It's a mis-direction of resources that has a real question mark over it and a concern over our needed future spiritual development.
    Last edited by Peter UK; 12th October 2019 at 08:41.

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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    According to Z. Sitchin(?) in his telling of the Anunnaki story, the Anunnaki used Gold, which is LIGHT IN WEIGHT to protect its wearers from deadly, ageing radiation during space travel. The way to mine the Gold from the Asteroid would be on the spot where the shielding would be manufactured and transported to wherever secondary products would be reshaped from it. If it has not already been claimed by other space manufacturers, permanent quarters could be drilled into the center of it where it could be mined from inside while simultaneously protecting the astronauts from radiation.

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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    Quote Posted by amor (here)
    Further to the above, the bug-eyed Aliens who are taking genes from family lines in order to replicate their former bodies as humans have reportedly come from 45,000 years in our future where they bio-engineered themselves to the point where they cannot successfully reproduce. They find families from their past, and take from each successive generation of that family sperm and eggs to conceive with one of their own a new human. They will probably remain in orbit around Earth if they know that Earth will be destroyed. After that, they will reoccupy. Kerry Cassidy should have fun with that one if she makes a film. They may also send some back to their future timeline if they can find it. They may find one similar to it as there are many similar timelines.
    Yes, as far as I understand it there are a number of genetic dna programmes running and not all of them concern populating this planet but have off planet agendas as well. The specific grey agenda for having a hybrid species, that you mention, is now into it's second generation of interaction with humanity with more awareness on both parties regarding purpose.

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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    Apparently there will be a US manned mission to the moon in 2024:

    Quote NASA displays new spacesuits for its 2024 moon mission https://reut.rs/35EyM9i
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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    This article is also relevant here:

    Quote Posted by Cara (here)
    China is preparing for a manned moon landing.

    Quote China drawing up plan for manned lunar exploration

    XIAMEN, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- China is carrying out in-depth demonstration and long-term planning for its manned lunar exploration, and has formed an overall consensus and a preliminary plan, according to a senior space engineer.

    At the 1st China Space Science Assembly held in Xiamen, east China's Fujian Province, from Oct. 25 to Oct. 28, Chen Shanguang, deputy chief designer of China's manned space program, said the future trend of manned space cause is to explore the moon, and establish a lunar base to carry out scientific research, and accumulate technology and experience for going deeper into space. "The long-term goal is to send people to Mars."

    The manned lunar exploration will help improve human's understanding of the formation and evolution of the moon, as astronauts may set up facilities on the moon to obtain scientific data and samples, Chen said.

    The astronauts may carry out multi-disciplinary research involving fields such as physics, chemistry, astronomy and geology, and in-situ resource utilization by taking advantage of the characteristics of the moon, such as low gravity, weak magnetic field and high vacuum. The research could promote innovation and development of basic science, he said.

    Solving the scientific problems involving human survival on the moon could lay a foundation for human beings to go further into deep space, Chen added.
    From: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/201..._138509382.htm
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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    From the UK tabloid newspaper, The Daily Express, NATO is apparently preparing for space war.

    Quote NATO shock: Group prepares for space warfare as it readies explosive December report

    NATO is set to announce that it is ready to recognise space as the final frontier of warfare in an explosive UK summit this December.

    By JOEL DAY
    PUBLISHED: 01:59, Thu, Oct 31, 2019 | UPDATED: 02:28, Thu, Oct 31, 2019

    Space war technology is being built says US Lieutenant General
    Play Video [video at original]

    The decision is set to take place at the beginning of December at a summit in London, where US President Donald Trump is due to attend. It is thought that NATO will formally acknowledge that battles can be waged not only on land, in the air, at sea and on computer networks, but also in space.

    A senior NATO diplomat involved in the discussions said: “There’s agreement that we should make space a domain and the London summit is the best place to make it official.”

    Although, the diplomat cautioned that technical policy work was still underway.

    Other NATO diplomats currently deny the alliance would be on a war footing space, but say declaring it a domain would begin a debate over whether NATO should eventually use space weapons that can shut down enemy missiles and air defences or destroy satellites.

    It has been reported that France and the US are currently the main advocates of initiating space as a frontier of war.

    France in particular has been vocal in its criticism and accusations of Russia already using space as a means to target other nations.

    In July, France announced it would start to develop anti-satellite masters to protect its satellite fleet following its claim that Russia had been using its own satellites for space-based espionage.

    And, joining the warning party, earlier this month the head of the newly established US Space Command warned that China would likely attempt to blind satellites in wartime.

    Fears may not be far-fetched, as Russia recently launched a commercial satellite designed to rendezvous with other satellites.
    From: https://www.express.co.uk/news/world...3-Donald-Trump
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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    Economic development in space as seen by the Chinese:

    Quote Space economy: China wants to set up $10 trillion Earth-Moon economic zone


    4 Nov, 2019 09:03

    As Earth is apparently too small for China’s economic ambitions, the country is considering developing commerce beyond our planet and wants to create an economic zone in cislunar space by 2050.

    The new zone will cover areas of space near Earth, the Moon, and in between, Bao Weimin, the head of the science and technology commission at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CAST), revealed last week, as cited by state media. The agency is the main contractor for the national space program.

    The project could bring in around $10 trillion for China, state-linked Science and Technology Daily newspaper reported, citing industry experts.

    In a report on the development of Earth and Moon space, Bao said that the field has huge economic potential and thus the country should study reliable, low-cost aerospace transport systems between our planet and its satellite.

    The basic technology is set to be finished by 2030, while the key transport technology is expected to be created by 2040. By the middle of the century, China could successfully establish the space economic zone, according to the official.

    China has been rapidly developing its space sector and studying the Moon in recent years. In July, private company i-Space (also known as Beijing Interstellar Glory Space Technology) launched a carrier rocket in the first successful orbital mission by the Chinese commercial space industry. Last year, China launched its Chang’e 4 probe, successfully landing its lunar rover on the far side of the Moon on January 3.
    From: https://www.rt.com/business/472554-c...mpression=true
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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    Well, here we go: Wall Street (US money power elite) sets its sights on space economy.

    Quote An investor's guide to space, Wall Street's next trillion-dollar industry
    Michael Sheetz | @thesheetztweetz
    Published 7:53 AM ET Sat, 9 Nov 2019 Updated 2:01 PM ET Sat, 9 Nov 2019 CNBC.com
    • Space tourism venture Virgin Galactic debuts with much fanfare at the New York Stock Exchange last month, with institutional investors taking notice.
    • CNBC simplifies investors' opportunity in space into four categories: Human spaceflight, national security, satellite communications, and imagery and data analysis.
    • "While [the feedback cycle] might take a bit longer, I do think it will have the same return on your investment as a software company," Bessemer Venture Partners' Tess Hatch tells CNBC.


    (This story is part of the Weekend Brief edition of the Evening Brief newsletter. To sign up for CNBC's Evening Brief, click here .)

    The space industry is in the middle of a widespread transformation, as the last decade has seen a number of young companies begin to seek to profit in an area where most of the money was made from military contracts or expensive communications satellites.

    The estimated $400 billion space economy is still largely dominated by large aerospace and defense companies, serving government-funded interests. But investors say that's changing, with Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and UBS each issuing frequent research for clients on how the space industry is growing. Wall Street's consensus is that space will become a multitrillion-dollar economy in the next 10 to 20 years — a view investors today are banking on.

    "It's absolutely a viable industry to invest in, just like software," Bessemer Venture Partners' Tess Hatch told CNBC. Hatch has led Bessemer's investment in several space companies, sitting on the board of Rocket Lab and satellite company Spire Global, among others.

    As both aerospace giants and private capital continue to invest billions of dollars in new technologies and opportunities, public investors should know the biggest players in the space business.

    This is your guide to investing in space right now, with insight on the top space companies from analysts and investors.


    SpaceX
    SpaceX launches the first Block 5 version of its Falcon 9 rocket for the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 mission.


    Shannon Saccocia, chief investment officer at Boston Private, told CNBC she recognizes the space industry is largely government-driven at the moment and is looking for more companies to come to market.

    "I think that space is more than just a government-funded pursuit; it needs to be more of a privatized venture. My hope is that this will fund some additional social impact," Saccocia said. "There is a desire for this to be treated more as an opportunity for companies to benefit the social good, rather than something that needs to be protected from a national security perspective, which I still think that space falls into that paradigm."

    There are a number of ways to categorize space companies, as the industry bleeds over into a variety of other sectors. For the purpose of this guide, CNBC simplifies investor opportunities into four categories: Human spaceflight, national security, satellite communications, and imagery and data analysis.

    Additionally, each of those categories includes three different types of companies: Public companies that are purely space-focused, public companies with exposure through a significant space subsidiary and private companies that soon may either go public or spin off divisions.

    Here's what you need to know.

    Investing in human spaceflight



    While Boeing and Lockheed Martin both have legacies in human spaceflight, Virgin Galactic is the first publicly traded company focused on flying people to space as its primary business. Virgin Galactic debuted with much fanfare at the New York Stock Exchange last month, with institutional investors taking notice.

    Renaissance Capital's Matt Kennedy, a specialist in IPO strategy, told CNBC much of the initial excitement around Richard Branson's venture was "because it was the first publicly traded space tourism company."


    Virgin Galactic's spacecraft Unity heads to space for the first time.

    "This is extremely significant for the space community, as — other than Skybox being acquired by Google and MDA acquiring Digital Globe — this is really the third liquidity event in the space industry and it's another invitation for investors to invest in the space sector," Hatch said. "This is just the first step for many, many other larger and more significant space opportunities."

    Virgin Galactic shares similarities with two other space ventures built by billionaires this century: Blue Origin and SpaceX. The former is also developing a rocket for space tourists, while the latter plans to use its massive Starship rocket as a means of traveling from one place to another on Earth quickly, known as point-to-point space travel. Virgin Galactic recently announced an investment from Boeing, as the venture is looking at whether it can mature its space tourism technology and build rockets capable of point-to-point high-speed travel.

    "The thing to note about space is that the feedback cycle is a bit longer," Hatch said. "While that might take a bit longer, I do think it will have the same return on your investment as a software company."

    Neither SpaceX nor Blue Origin plan to go public any time soon. But it would be a mistake to miss the impact the companies of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have had on the industry. SpaceX has become the most active U.S. rocket launcher, significantly reducing the cost of launching satellites while also proving it can reuse the most valuable parts of rockets by landing the boosters. SpaceX has also been working on a capsule known as Crew Dragon, aiming to begin launching astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA next year.

    Although Blue Origin has yet to fly people, the company has taken what it's learned from its space tourism program and applied it to a variety of ambitious spaceflight endeavors: Developing a powerful yet reusable rocket engine, building a massive new rocket and leading a bid to fly cargo and people to the moon for NASA on a lunar lander.

    Lockheed Martin joined Blue Origin's lunar lander initiative and has also been building the Orion capsules for NASA's deep space missions. NASA has already committed to buying six Orion spacecraft from Lockheed Martin for a minimum of $4.6 billion — and the agency may plunk down even more money in the future.

    Boeing, like SpaceX, is developing a capsule to fly NASA astronauts to the space station. Boeing will get as much as $4.2 billion from NASA to build the spacecraft, called Starliner, to end the United States' dependence on flying with Russia to get people to orbit. Additionally, Boeing is the prime contractor for NASA's Space Launch System, or SLS, an immense rocket intended to send astronauts to the moon and more. But SLS is several years behind and billions of dollars over budget in development, with a recent White House budget document noting that it will cost more than $2 billion per launch.

    Lastly is NanoRacks, a private company that focuses on a variety of human spaceflight opportunities ranging from research to space station habitats. NanoRacks has a wide swath of customers as well, ranging from NASA to the European Space Agency to a number of private U.S. companies.

    Investing in national security space



    While human spaceflight may be the most esteemed part of the industry, building and launching spacecraft for the U.S. military has long been a consistent line of business for many defense companies. Because of that, other than Aerojet Rocketdyne, the space divisions are only a small part of most public companies in the national security category.

    "A lot of them are getting maybe between 5% and 20% or so of their revenues from space-related activities," said Andrew Chanin, co-founder and CEO of Procure AM, a firm that earlier this year issued a space-focused exchange traded fund, or ETF, called UFO.

    Aerojet Rocketdyne focuses on propulsion systems for a variety of military and commercial rockets and spacecraft. The company's stock has had a solid year, up more than 25% on the back of continued sales growth of its rocket engines. In 2018, billionaire investor Mario Gabelli identified Aerojet Rocketdyne as one of his top stock picks, noting CEO Eileen Drake "has done a fantastic job of running this company." But last year Aerojet Rocketdyne lost out to Blue Origin when bidding its AR1 engine for United Launch Alliance's new Vulcan rocket. Despite the missed opportunity, Aerojet Rocketdyne's most recent quarterly report said it expects to see 2019 as another year of sales growth.

    Northrop Grumman last year bought Orbital ATK, one of the top suppliers of solid rocket motors, and renamed the company Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. Beyond building spacecraft to send cargo to the International Space Station, Northrop's space unit is also developing its OmegA rocket for a competitive batch of U.S. Air Force launch contracts.

    United Launch Alliance, or ULA, is a joint venture owned by Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Before the arrival of SpaceX as a challenger, ULA was the sole provider of U.S. Air Force launches for several years.

    Space is only a minor part of what most companies in this category do, as Chanin explained the barriers to entry are lower for defense giants.

    "One of the big pieces, before the government is signed off on a contract, is the background checks and due diligence on the actual companies, making sure that they have the proper safeguards in place," Chanin said.

    Therefore, on quarterly reports, several companies either don't break space out as a separate business unit or include it within its aerospace business. Those companies include Honeywell, Raytheon, L3Harris Technologies and Ball Aerospace — all of which book millions of dollars in space revenues each quarter.

    "That said, not every company can specialize in every single space business, and that allows for the opportunities for companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin to make appealing cases for why their company should be considered," Chanin said.

    Sierra Nevada Corporation, or SNC, is another private company that should not be overlooked. As is the case of other defense contractors, space is only a part of what SNC does. But the company has steadily built its space business, with its reusable cargo spacecraft Dream Chaser as one of the most visible parts.

    "What we've seen recently is the government — not just the U.S. but even abroad — is government's willingness to work with your newer and even smaller, more start-up, the companies on that scale," Chanin said.

    The final batch of national security companies comprises several private rocket builders. At the top of the heap is Rocket Lab, a company building and launching small rockets to specific orbits, with nine successful launches under its belt. Then there's Virgin Orbit, a spinoff of Branson's Virgin Galactic, which is about to attempt its first rocket launch and uses a modified Boeing 747 jet as its mobile launchpad. Finally, investors should keep an eye on both Firefly Aerospace and Relativity Space — the former is only a few months away from its first launch, and the latter is taking an ambitious, 3D printing approach to transforming the rocket manufacturing process.

    Investing in satellite communications



    The business of satellites is varied, as it stretches from manufacturers to broadband video providers to operators and ground systems companies. The majority of satellite-focused businesses therefore fall under the broad category of satellite communications — for the sake of simplicity and because many of the manufacturers feature in the national security category.

    But for investors looking to invest in the space industry now, satellite communications offers the highest number of pure-play public companies. The largest of those by market value is DISH Network, which owns and operates a fleet of direct broadcast satellites. DISH used to be a service provided by EchoStar, another company on this list that provides several communications services beyond just broadcast television.

    ViaSat, Intelsat and Loral Space & Communications each focuses on broadband services, including internet, via large satellites that orbit in a fixed position but far away from the Earth, to cover as much area as possible. For example, ViaSat-1 is a seven-ton satellite that covers much of North America.

    Iridium Communications and Globalstar both offer a variety of satellite phones and other mobile communications services. Iridium is often heralded as one of the space industry's turnaround stories, as the company recovered from bankruptcy over a decade ago to complete its $3 billion Iridium NEXT network of satellites this past year.

    An increasing number of satellite companies are looking to offer Internet of Things, or IoT, communication services, and ORBCOMM markets itself as one of the leading providers in that niche. And, in the often-overlooked but critical business of ground stations, Gilat Satellite Networks, although based in Israel, trades on the Nasdaq and focuses on transportable and relatively small antennas.

    Smallest among the pure-plays is Global Eagle Entertainment, a provider of entertainment and internet services for airlines. While the stock once traded above $10, shares have plummeted since 2014 and most Wall Street research firms no longer cover Global Eagle Entertainment's stock.

    "In many cases, satellites are this essential part of the infrastructure," Chanin said. "They're operating as the digital data superhighway toll operators. So if you expect there's going to be a data explosion, satellites might be one of these more overlooked areas that are essential components in this infrastructure."

    The largest telecommunications companies in the world have satellites as a part of broadcast distribution, whether it's AT&T with DirecTV or Comcast. Sirius XM also operates a small fleet of satellites, to distribute its radio services.

    There's also a new competition in satellite communications: The race to build extensive networks of hundreds or even thousands of small satellites to provide high-speed internet. A group of satellites are often known as "constellations," but the plans of SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat and more would launch so many satellites that they're being called "megaconstellations."

    Amazon's recently unveiled internet satellite program Project Kuiper represents one way investors can bet on these megaconstellations. Project Kuiper would put 3,236 satellites into orbit, and the company is already building facilities on the ground through its new AWS Ground Station division.

    OneWeb was one of the early companies pursuing an internet constellation, as the company aims to launch 650 satellites into orbit over the next two years. OneWeb has raised $3.4 billion since its inception in 2012, with investments from a wide variety of sources: Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, Mexican conglomerate Grupo Salinas, Qualcomm, the Rwandan government, Virgin Group, Coca-Cola, Airbus, Intelsat, EchoStar-owned Hughes Communications and Indian conglomerate Bharti Enterprises. According to PitchBook, OneWeb was valued at $14 billion in June 2017, during a failed acquisition attempt by Intelsat.

    But likely the most ambitious internet constellation effort is SpaceX's Starlink. Musk's company has been steadily fundraising this year. Starlink would include as many as 30,000 satellites when completed and President Gwynne Shotwell claimed recently that her company's network is far ahead of OneWeb, saying "we have far more capacity per satellite than our competitors." SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites in May, expects to launch another 60 Starlink satellites next week and aims to be launching 60 every other week soon.

    Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.

    Investing in imagery and data analysis



    The last category is the smallest by total market value, but, thanks to the past decade of private investment, the imagery and data analysis category may be the fastest to grow in the coming years.

    Essentially four space companies in one, Maxar Technologies could easily be included in either national security or satellite communications. But, having acquired DigitalGlobe in 2017, Maxar operates what it claims is "the world's most advanced constellation" of imaging satellites.

    Chad Anderson, CEO of small New York City firm Space Angels, told CNBC that he sees potential from companies making use of the new flood of geospatial imagery, which he described as satellites "providing information about the world around us, spatially, so we understand where things are and where they're moving." He compared geospatial imagery today to the development of the Global Position System, or GPS, in the late 1970s.

    "There was a lot of infrastructure investment in GPS, meaning that there was government investment into military applications, to put these satellites up and give us this new global positioning," Anderson said.

    Anderson explained that companies such as Trimble and Magellan created the distribution channel for GPS, unlocking the feed of data for the rest of the world. Garmin has focused on the consumer applications of GPS, through a wide variety of devices.

    "They made it accessible to the tech community, and this is where you see all of the value being generated. The founders of Uber didn't have to know how satellites work ... you just have to know that signal is there and gives you this information," Anderson said. "The GPS signals from space are incredibly valuable. The geospatial intelligence signals that we're just starting to harness today are extremely valuable."

    Finally, there are several private companies focusing on different areas of imagery and data analytics. Bessemer's Hatch called out Spire Global, Planet Labs and Orbital Insight as three "high-flying venture-backed companies" that may go public soon. Spire Global and Planet Labs each operate constellations of small satellites, with the former collecting data on things such as the weather and the latter taking regular images of the Earth's surface. Although both companies have since raised money, Planet was valued at $2.2 billion in August 2017 and Spire Global was valued at $345 million in November 2017, according to PitchBook.

    "I'd keep an eye on those," Hatch said.

    Patience is necessary

    Each of the investors CNBC spoke to pointed out how historically unique it is to see companies looking to profit from space. But even with the declining costs in space hardware, any business in space faces steep capital costs and high risks. As Ann Kim, managing director of Silicon Valley Bank, pointed out, Virgin Galactic shares could easily continue to be volatile until its business operations stabilize.

    "The public is buying shares in a company with ambitious plans to make space a viable destination, rather than one with a predictable business model. Investors should expect the shares to be extremely volatile due to a number of uncertainties in this market," Kim said.

    But that's not to say Virgin Galactic is representative of all space companies. Renaissance's Kennedy sees how the past decade of private investment in space should gain traction on the public markets.

    "If a venture-backed company with strong growth files for an IPO, I think they'll get investor interest — they just have to prove that their model works," Kennedy said.

    In the past decade $24.6 billion in private capital has gone to space companies, with a total of 509 companies receiving investment. Additionally, 2019 is on pace for a new annual space investment record, as the first nine months of this year saw $5 billion of private investment across 146 rounds. That's according to the most recent quarterly report from Space Angels, which also invests exclusively in space companies.

    "Space is the vantage point that allows us to do business," Anderson said. "It's what links our financial markets, shipping lanes — the global economy as it exists today would not exist without space."

    Saccocia added that her clients have only begun to think about space investments "as a secondary derivative" of climate change ventures, so it's still a new concept to many public investors.

    "I think some of my very climate change-centric clients have broached this, saying things like 'we need to learn more about planets other than ours and maybe hopefully help ours in turn,' but I haven't had a lot of requests for space in particular as a specific investment theme," Saccocia said.
    From: https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2019/11/09/...mpression=true
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    Habitation on the moon to be explored in the new IceCube mission. NASA is aiming for a “sustained presence” by 2024!

    Quote Lunar IceCube mission to locate, study resources needed for sustained presence on Moon
    by Katherine Schauer for GSFC News
    Greenbelt MD (SPX) Nov 11, 2019

    As we venture forward to the Moon and establish a sustained lunar presence, finding and understanding water on the lunar surface becomes increasingly important. Lunar water is largely in the form of, but not necessarily limited to, water ice. Astronauts on the Moon could use this ice for various crew needs, potentially including rocket fuel.

    The Lunar IceCube mission, led by Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, will study water distribution and interaction on the Moon. The mission will carry a NASA instrument called Broadband InfraRed Compact High-Resolution Exploration Spectrometer (BIRCHES) to investigate the distribution of water and other organic volatiles. NASA scientists will use this data to understand where the water is on the Moon, its origins and how we can use it.

    "Lunar IceCube will help pave the way for human missions through significantly less expensive robotic missions and by addressing water dynamics on the Moon," said Mark Lupisella, exploration research and development manager. "This is not only important for science, but it could also be important for reducing the cost of human missions over the long-term."

    The BIRCHES instrument will not only help map the distribution and dynamics of water on the Moon's surface, but also in the exosphere - a very thin atmosphere-like volume surrounding the Moon. Scientists are interested in understanding the absorption and release of water from the Moon's regolith, which is comparable to soil on Earth's surface. By studying the absorption and release of water, scientists can start to map changes occurring on the Moon. Finding and understanding water on the lunar surface is vital to establishing a sustained presence on the Moon.

    Lunar IceCube plans to have a seven-hour elliptical orbit around the Moon, where it will observe the lunar surface for an hour of that time. This limited observational time is due to BIRCHES' view of the Moon. If the Sun peeks into the Lunar IceCube's point of view while it is observing or travelling to the Moon, the BIRCHES instrument would be permanently damaged due to the intensity of the Sun's energy on the infrared detector and other sensitive optical components within the instrument. To prevent this, the team developed a small garage-like door on the instrument that will open and close to protect the instrument.

    Lunar IceCube is designed to provide several site observations at different latitudes for further understanding water cycles on the Moon. Additionally, the findings from Lunar IceCube will provide complimentary measurements to other CubeSats observing the Moon.

    "Anything we learn about the Moon is valuable," said Cliff Brambora, BIRCHES lead engineer. "The Moon is a kind of proving ground for technology and exploration, and the knowledge we gain there will help us with the potential for establishing a sustained presence on other planets, such as Mars."

    In addition to the miniaturized technology for the BIRCHES instrument, Lunar IceCube will feature an ion propulsion thruster, a new technology for CubeSats. Due to the minuscule size of the spacecraft, the thruster operates electrically using small amounts of propellant to give a small push and drive the spacecraft along its path, similar to that of butterfly wings.

    "Interplanetary exploration with CubeSats is possible through the use of innovative propulsion systems and creative trajectories," said Benjamin Malphrus from Morehead State University. "The ion propulsion system is an enabling technology that will open the door to solar system exploration with small satellite platforms, ushering in a new era of space exploration."

    As a CubeSat, a miniaturized satellite typically weighing less than 397 pounds, Lunar IceCube, which weighs 31 pounds, provides the agency with an efficient and cost-effective way to study the Moon. CubeSats offer NASA, universities and other organizations with a platform for science investigations, technology demonstrations and advanced mission concepts. The BIRCHES payload is roughly the size of an eight-inch tissue box, and during the development of BIRCHES, the team had to drastically miniaturize legacy hardware from a previous NASA mission to approximately one-sixth of its original size.

    Lunar IceCube is a collaborative effort between NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California; NASA's Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Center in Fairmont, West Virginia; Morehead State University (MSU); and commercial partners, including the Busek space propulsion company.

    The BIRCHES instrument is currently undergoing environmental testing at Goddard and is planned for delivery to MSU in August for integration into the spacecraft. The mission will launch as a secondary payload on the Space Launch System's (SLS) Artemis -1.

    Lunar IceCube is paving the way for NASA's mission to the Moon. By distinguishing water on and around the lunar surface, scientists will be able to predict seasonal changes and determine possible in situ use for water on the Moon. This will be valuable information as NASA works to establish a sustained lunar presence by 2024.
    From: http://www.moondaily.com/reports/Lun..._Moon_999.html
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    NATO signals its intent to operate in space:

    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    Europe will fight to hold it's own- on earth, while those with guts and brains take to the heavens, and make the stars their own... Sorry, but I calls 'em, as I sees 'em...

    OldArcher
    Dowsing for Life! Dowsing gives and brings life, and confidence! There are NO unhappy Dowsers!

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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    So, China nay own the moon, but what will they do with it?
    Maybe in thousands of years from now we will have re incarnated to
    a different galaxy and be the enemy of Earth
    Maybe anything is possible in countless dimensions and
    endless time.

    Time we realized we are all ONE
    Question Everything, twice or maybe trice..........

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    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    Also relevant here... another Gold Rush? This time space based?

    Quote Posted by Star Tsar (here)
    Anton Petrov

    Japanese Asteroid Samples That Could Lead To Space Gold Rush In 2020

    Published 27th November 2019

    Anton talks about about the recent updates of Hayabusa 2 mission from Japan and the exciting reasons for how Japan might transform space mining.

    Mission in detail: https://global.jaxa.jp/projects/sas/...3_fs_23_en.pdf

    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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