Recent reports have said that Robert Jacobson, a space advocate and former principal with the Space Angels Network, has spent the past ten years advising investors and company owners on the potential of space as a field of business as space in 2050 could already be inhabited by hundreds of thousands of humans.
According to The Motley Fool, Jacobson was able to discuss via phone interview his new book Space is Open for Business, and the reason the things the next three decades could be "a renaissance for space" firms and a big opportunity for investors wanting to get in on the space business's ground floor.
It's been only a little over a decade since the first rocket called SpaceX Falcon 9 blasted off from Cape Canaveral, and Jacobson was able to witness it. Since then, SpaceX has operated several missions to the International Space Station and in space.
In that same SpaceX, one of the initial promising space start-ups which Jacobson, together with his crew spotted, has developed into a bona fide space firm and a worthy competitor to incumbent United States space contractor, United Launch Alliance.
Space in 2050
As rapid as such change has occurred already, one may be shocked to discover the number of things that may change if the space industry has just slightly more time to develop.
In everything recorded in history, for instance, less than 600 humans have ever left the atmosphere of Earth, explained Jacobson.
However, by 2050, he continued explaining, it is possible the first hundreds, then thousands, then, eventually, hundreds of thousands of humans could be seen, not just visiting space but settling and working there for good.
Dr. Gerard O'Neill, a Princeton professor, and space activist presented the roadmap for this to materialize in his The High Frontier seminal work, which was reviewed in the National Space Society site, and which Jacobson explained, describing the manner a series of large space stations that have the machinery to develop artificial gravity could be positioned at "Lagrange points" between the moon and Earth.
Since humans evolved to live in gravity, and due to the fact that the physical deterioration of astronauts living aboard the ISS is well-documented, it is believed that the large space stations offering artificial gravity would be larger to moon colonies for supporting bigger populations in space.
More Than 100,000 Inhabitants
As far as populating the said stations are concerned, hundreds of thousands of inhabitants may appear like a stretch at present when each eye turns to NASA for its once-a-year-or-two launches of three to four astronauts at a time.
Nevertheless, consider that Starship is currently being designated to take as many as 100 passengers at a time and to launch several times each day.
About 100 passengers multiplied by three launches each day, times 365 days in each year would mean that, theoretically, at least, one Starship designated to orbital operations could put over 100,000 people into space in any given year. More so, SpaceX of Elon Musk is expecting starship to be ready for human spaceflight as early as 2023.
Multiple Opportunities in Space
SpaceX and Starship are not the only space companies worthy of following in space. Jacobson also underscored two other firms for investors to watch out for.
One of the companies is Spire Global. This satellite company is crunching data from its "private constellation of 100 Earth observation satellites" to offer understandings to customers in both the aviation and maritime industries, as well as in weather forecasting, for the monitoring of sea traffic, optimize routes for air traffic, and monitor global warming trends. This company is set to go public this summer in a SPAC IPO sponsored by NavSight Holdings.
Meanwhile, in-between time, Jacobson is urging investors to keep an eye on 'tiny space' and specifically, on launches of tinier rockets like Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit.
They may not be as stimulating as Starship, as well as its multiton payloads, but the space expert believes there is still room in space for tiny rocket launchers performing the functions as sending small-sized satellites into specific orbits, replacing outdated and obsolete satellites as they fall out of bigger constellations, and executing 'on-demand' launch missions for customers like the US military, among others.
A related report is shown on Xedous' YouTube video below:
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