The ultimate extension of the world of investment, the space ecosystem is bubbling with technological, geostrategic and economic challenges. The space industry is undergoing a metamorphosis with the emergence of private entrepreneurs working alongside the major space agencies to achieve a new objective: open the door to space by facilitating access, and develop an interplanetary economy from the Moon. We are at a turning point in the history of space, and in our lives.
Space exploration is booming, with no fewer than 150 space exploration missions already planned between now and 2030. The success of Indian probe Chandrayaan-3, which landed on the South Pole of the Moon on 23 August, shows that the space race is well and truly back on, with a fourth nation now having pulled off a moon landing. This dynamic opens up new worlds and unprecedented opportunities. Boosted by the digital revolution and boundless innovation, the space market, today estimated at $400 billion, could reach $2,700 billion by 2045, i.e. nearly three times the equivalent of Switzerland’s GDP. This is a momentous revolution whose impact will be transformative, driven by a convergence of major technological innovations.
The dizzying development of the space ecosystem is facilitating access to space and driving down costs: it now costs just $2,500 dollars to send a kilogram into space – down from $25,000 15 years ago – and a further reduction towards $250 dollars is on the cards with SpaceX’s new Starship launcher. New businesses are taking shape, such as the manufacture of objects in microgravity or climate monitoring, and flourishing industries are emerging. They include launchers, with players such as Rocket Lab (+80% YTD), and satellites, where projections put growth at 9% per annum between now and 2027. System suppliers such as Redwire are benefiting from exponential growth in the number of satellites launched into space. On the heels of Jupiter 3, the world’s largest commercial communications satellite, designed by Maxar and launched by SpaceX in July, more than 33,000 satellites are set to be launched over the coming 10 years.
The use of space is changing and expanding. Communication, navigation, Earth observation, climate change: space data has become a high value-added product. Cutting-edge technologies and the use of artificial intelligence are amplifying the depth and speed of the transformation of these uses, which are beneficial to life on Earth. There are many examples, such as French start-up Kayrros, which uses data from the European Copernicus programme’s Earth observation satellites to detect methane leaks or evaluate the carbon sequestered by the world’s forests.
Satellite communication, Earth observation and other capabilities developed by space companies are in greater demand as governments increase their defence spending. Public spending is becoming an additional growth driver in this universe. The first beneficiaries are the commercial companies that are gaining market share with defence departments, as well as defence companies with significant activities in the field of space, such as Airbus.
Space exploration is just beginning. Pioneers at heart, constantly on the lookout for innovation, we are seeking to anticipate the major trends of tomorrow. With Echiquier Space, we have been following the changes in the space ecosystem since 2021, convinced that investment in this sector will help us meet the immense global challenges of our century.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors. LFDE shall not be held liable for these opinions in any way. The securities and sectors mentioned above are given by way of example. There is no guarantee they will remain in the portfolio or perform as expected over time.
 PwC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, 2020
 Grand View Research, 2020
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