Ah, when I thought 2019 couldn’t get any better, something exciting happened yesterday. I really don’t know how I could have missed it, but one of the most exciting companies in the world just entered the stock market through an IPO last month and I purchased a few shares just yesterday.
I am talking about Virgin Galactic (SPCE). I know. It sounds like one of that Tesla (TSLA) pipe-dreams. But wait, Tesla… did happen. The stock is at an all-time high, the company starts regularly to report profits, is expanding its business and factories across the globe, and despite all the negative sentiment and oil-mafia-propaganda, the business is growing immensely. I have traded a very small amount of shares of Tesla every once in a while and collected nice profits in the 40-50% margins from it. Unfortunately last time I definitely sold off too early. Well, timing is always a challenge.
But enough. We all know what Tesla is doing, so how about Virgin Galactic? Is it really just some smoke and mirrors about traveling to space? Or is there more? Let me tell you ahead: Preparing humanity for space travel has much larger and wider implications than one would imagine, and a company devoting itself to this kind of adventure, being backed by a billionaire (Sir Richard Branson), might be a large risk, but also a great opportunity. Let me point out a few things why SPCE is such an exciting investment:
The first thing that is necessary to allow us to travel to space is a proper engine. Our current engine technology is impressive, but not sufficiently strong and not sustainable enough to allow us to travel out of orbit and much further. It also doesn’t provide enough speed and propulsion in space. A significant improvement on that front will be necessary to reach the dream of safe space travel.
But better engines will also have an effect on almost all our existing technologies, from cars to motorbikes, planes, and boats. It will also have significant implications for our planetary travel as we know it. Traveling through space would allow us to cut down on flight times across the globe in unimaginable ways. A flight from Bangkok to Berlin could be cut down from 11 hours to an estimated 1 hour. The potential is huge and has been already expressed not only by Virgin Galactic but also by Space X and Elon Musk.
Protective Gear & Equipment
Leaving the protection of our planet will expose traveling humans to all kinds of dangers. Radiation, heat, cold, space debris, pressure, oxygen control… we will be forced to develop all new kinds of protective materials to help us not only master getting out of orbit, but also to survive in truly hostile environments like on the moon or on Mars.
Again, these kinds of materials, that will be very durable, strong but flexible and protect from visible as well as invisible dangers will have massive implications for us on the ground. The obvious potential for military equipment is one thing, but also research and development teams, engineers and explorers will see a whole new world open up in front of their doorsteps: The underwater world.
The hostile environment underwater is another frontier that we couldn’t master yet. Developing protective equipment and gear for space will also enable us to discover much more of the ocean and the technologies will find a purpose on that front as well.
Traveling to space will be the first step. Setting up colonies on planets (starting with the moon and Mars) will be the logical next step. Again, the hostile environment will require very specific and unique designs, materials, and protection. Things that more and more humans on earth would also greatly benefit from.
Whether it’s the hurricanes in the Philippines, firestorms in California or Earth Quakes in Japan. Every year thousands of people lose their homes, and sometimes lives, to the power of nature. Creating protective shelters or even integrating higher grades of security into basic building construction based on materials and techniques that we will be using on outer planets might provide significant improvements to health and safety for us here at home. The potential is enormous.
Also, since construction in places where humans can’t work regularly in an open-air environment will require a much larger degree of automation and prefabrication, it is very likely that this kind of technology will find it’s way to our construction industry right here on earth. As one of the largest industries in the world, the potential is beyond being measurable.
Resources & Sustainability
Zero waste is a thing, and if you live in a place without resources, it needs to be a top priority. Given our current lifestyles which are almost completely based on waste, there is immense potential for improvement.
The last thing we want is to trash just another planet out there, don’t we? Thus, companies that focus on space travel and living on other planets will be able to influence our lifestyles and attitude towards this topic more than anything else.
The whole buzz about exploring the universe is mostly about our hunger for science. We want to know how things work, what binds it all together, understand the complex nature of the force that surrounds us… sorry, that sounded maybe too much like Star Wars 🙂
But to analyze things that are unknown will require a whole new world of analytical tools, equipment and approach to analytical science. We can’t even begin to imagine yet what kind of knowledge and new techniques we could gather from this.
I could go on for the whole day about the implications that come with discovering this exciting new frontier. The key point is: There are endless opportunities and investing in such a company might be a high risk and it might sound like a pipe dream. But it is a calculated risk. I only purchased shares in the tiny amount of 250 Euros and will add more shares to double it up sometime next year. So it’s nothing I will lose sleep about. If Virgin Galactic could perform even half as good as Tesla did in the last 12 years, then this is a risk very well worth taking.
But even more importantly, this is the kind of investment that makes me really exciting to be an investor! Following the news on this company and watching it grow and develop, and knowing that to a very tiny part I am a part of it, is truly amazing.
With those last words, I am saying goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020. I am sure it will be an exciting new year!