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Future of the Space Industry

Catalysts for Global Advancements

The space industry has long captured the imagination of humanity and offered a sight into the unknown and the potential for groundbreaking discoveries. The space industry has become a competition center with established players and ambitious newcomers for dominance in an increasingly lucrative market. As the demand for satellite services, space tourism and exploration missions continue to rise, the industry is witnessing a surge in innovation and investment, driving a new era of space exploration.

The impact of the space industry extends far beyond the confines of our planet and satellites orbiting the Earth enable – global communication, weather forecasting and navigation systems also while space exploration has led to the development of new technologies with applications in healthcare, environmental monitoring and materials science. The collaborative nature of space missions has fostered international cooperation and diplomacy, transcending geopolitical boundaries.

Innovative Breakthroughs in the Space Industry

Private companies have entered the arena that drives innovation and cost reduction through reusable rocket technology and ambitious plans for commercial space travel. The development of advanced propulsion systems such as – ion and plasma engines has opened up new possibilities for deep space exploration and the utilization of in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) techniques promises to allow a sustainable human presence beyond Earth.

The space industry is established giants such as – SpaceX, Blue Origin, NASA and Boeing which are striving to push the boundaries of space technology and secure lucrative government contracts. These companies have established their capabilities through successful satellite launches, crewed missions to the International Space Station and ambitious plans for lunar and Martian exploration.

Increasing Need within the Space Industry

Commercial satellite operators are seeking more cost-effective and reliable launch services to meet the growing demand for global connectivity along with Earth observation and remote sensing applications.

The view of space tourism has started a race to develop safe and affordable means of transporting civilians to the cosmos with companies competing to offer the ultimate interplanetary experience. Government agencies and private enterprises are eyeing the moon and Mars as potential destinations for – scientific research, resource extraction and even human colonization that drive demand for advanced propulsion systems, habitat technologies and in-situ resource utilization capabilities.

The space industry is poised to become a key driver of economic growth and technological advancement, with demands for space-based services and exploration capabilities set to soar. As competition intensifies, companies will need to innovate rapidly, forge strategic partnerships and adapt to evolving market dynamics to secure their position in the new space race.

Prospects for the Space Industry

The future of the space industry appears increasingly promising and the plans for crewed missions to mars the establishment of lunar bases and the development of space tourism are on the horizon. The prospect of mining asteroids for rare minerals and the construction of space-based solar power stations holds the potential to revolutionize energy production and resource utilization on Earth. As the industry continues to evolve it is poised to play a pivotal role in addressing global challenges and expanding the limits of human knowledge.

The space industry stands at the lead of human achievement that will offer boundless opportunities for scientific discovery technological innovation and international collaboration. As we move forward into the cosmos, the impact of space exploration will continue to shape our world in ways we have yet to imagine.

Future of the Space Industry Read More »

space commercialisation

Space Commercialisation

It is fair to say that Elon Musk has made space exciting again, with the industry dominated prominently by government-based institutions the possibility of a private entity giving outputs as good if not better than a legacy institution. In fact, in a recent interview with Jeff Bezos on the Lex Freidman podcast, he revealed that a primary reason for leaving the position of Amazon as CEO was so that he could focus solely on Blue Origin – an aerospace company that has its vision as “…envisions a time when people can tap into the limitless resources of space and enable the movement of damaging industries into space to preserve Earth, humanity’s blue origin” – he firmly believes that the future of human civilization lies up there.

But these civilizational benefits which have become the talk of the town & will potentially be reaped far in the future. So how come the institutional investors who have an obligation to their clients justify investing in space-based companies and generating revenue-based returns. Essentially how are the space-based companies generating revenue and how the start-ups in these domains propose to generate revenue?

The Space Economy

We are entering a new phase dubbed Space 3.0 — the first phase was governments investing in its exploration, phase 2.0 was billionaires investing in literal moonshots, and now phase 3.0 the commercial viability of space. It’s a lesser-known information as to how these space-based companies as adding value to the existing economic ecosystem. Within the spectrum of space economy, broadly there are two sub-categories i.e. “space-for-earth” and “space-for-space” economy.

The Space-for-Space economy

The space-for-space economy — that is, goods and services produced in space for use in space, such as mining the Moon or asteroids for material with which to construct in-space habitats or supply refueling depots — has struggled to get off the ground. The challenges and application in this category is extremely limited in the current scenario.

The demand for products and services that fit into these categories is very low now and the cost associated very high. Although the concept of space manufacturing has emerged as a viable avenue with the increased rocket and satellite launches. Because there is a restriction on the payload capacity of rockets, essential components for satellites and space equipment can be manufactured in space using 3-D printing technology. 

Traditional satellite design is heavily constrained by the limitations of launch vehicles. Any activity of manufacturing liberates these designs, allowing for the assembly of satellites in orbit. This freedom enables more efficient and functional designs, no longer bound by the rigors of terrestrial launch conditions.

But there’s still a long way to go for this to become a commercially viable option since there are numerous challenges and the value proposition is not attractive enough at the current stage of the industry.

The Space-for-earth economy

The space-for-earth economy includes telecommunications and internet infrastructure, earth observation capabilities, national security satellites, and more. This is the economy that most of the companies for such an industry are drooling over.

The centralized government-led programs which still are the dominant players in the industry inevitably focus on space-for-earth activities that are in the public interest, such as national security, basic science, and national pride. The majority of the revenue generated by space-based companies is through contracts with these institutions and other large companies to fulfill their needs.

Pursued Revenue Streams

Revenue streams that space-based companies are building upon are:

  • Launch Services: Providing launch services to satellite operators, government agencies, and other organizations. With advancements in technology, the cost of launching into the atmosphere has decreased, making it more accessible for various industries and governments to send their assets beyond Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Satellite Deployment and Services: Assisting in designing, building, and launching satellites for various purposes, such as communication, weather monitoring, and scientific research. Additionally, these companies also offer maintenance and repair services for existing satellites, ensuring their longevity and optimal performance.
  • Research and Development:  Designing and developing cutting-edge technologies, spacecraft, and propulsion systems. By leveraging their expertise and innovative capabilities, private companies in this industry earn substantial income through these contracts, while also contributing to advancements in space exploration.
  • Satellite Data and Services:  Private space companies can potentially collect vast amounts of data through their satellites, which can be utilized for various applications. They can offer satellite imagery, weather data, and other specialized services to industries such as agriculture, urban planning, and disaster management. By monetizing this data, private space companies can create a sustainable revenue stream while assisting different sectors in making informed decisions.
  • Partnerships and Investments: Private space companies often form strategic partnerships with other organizations, including government agencies, research institutions, and even other private companies. These partnerships can involve joint ventures, shared resources, or investments in each other’s projects. By pooling their expertise and resources, these private companies expand their capabilities and generate additional income through these collaborative efforts.

Conclusion

The future of the industry is still uncertain because as the private sector continues to expand its footprint to capture the space economy, new questions keep popping up from time to time with increased capability and possibilities.

Who can mine an asteroid? Who can colonize the moon? Who can advertise in space? Who owns the light waves? Who manages conflict? SpaceX’s recent launch of 60 Starlink satellites may have broadened global internet coverage, but it interferes with scientific data collection (light pollution).

Just a few years back these questions seemed far-fetched to think about, but with the pace that we are advancing, we will need to set the tone for commercialisation sooner than expected.

Space Commercialisation Read More »

space tourism

Space Tourism & Commercial Spaceflight

The Growth of the Space Tourism Market

The nascent space tourism sector has demonstrated significant momentum in recent years and appears poised for further expansion. What was previously relegated to the realm of science fiction is increasingly becoming attainable, as industry players work to make space travel accessible to non-astronauts. The global space tourism market – valued at US$869 million in 2022 – is projected to reach US$3.9 billion by 2032 which is corresponding to a promising CAGR of 16.2% over the next decade.

Categories of Space Tourism

Space tourism is a new frontier for adventure and discovery, offering a unique opportunity to experience the wonders of outer space and see the Earth from a different perspective. It is a rapidly growing industry that is driven by several private companies with different visions and strategies for offering space tourism services to their customers. Space tourism is not only a lucrative business – but also a noble endeavour- that can inspire and benefit humanity in many ways.

There are three broad categories of space tourism offerings – orbital, suborbital and lunar. Orbital involves reaching and remaining in Earth’s orbit– typically aboard the ISS or a private station. Suborbital encompasses ascents to approximately 100km in altitude to experience brief periods of microgravity and terrestrial panoramas. Lunar tourism covers trips to and potentially extended stays on the Moon. Based on current trajectories it is safe to assume that the addressable market appears sizable. Continued capital injections and technological progress bode well for progressively democratizing access to space in the years ahead. This evolving landscape warrants ongoing assessment of commercial opportunities.

Source: BT Research

Pioneering Companies Driving the Boom

Several pioneering companies have helped drive the new space tourism boom. For example – SpaceX which is founded by Elon Musk in 2002 – has successfully launched numerous resupply missions and astronauts to the International Space Station. Their next goal is to take private citizens on brief trips beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Virgin Galactic which is founded by Richard Branson in 2004– has also made strides with their SpaceShipTwo spaceplane. After years of development and testing, they began commercial service in 2022. Blue Origin which was started by Jeff Bezos in 2000– launched their first crewed flight of the New Shepard rocket in 2021. These companies are attracting interest and investment from various sources, such as customers, investors, media, regulators and partners.

New entrants have attracted substantial private funding, with Virgin Galactic securing over US$1.5 billion and Blue Origin receiving strategic investments from Amazon’s founder. The growth of the space tourism industry was spurred in the 2000s, when high net worth individuals paid millions to visit the International Space Station via Russian rockets. Since then– dedicated firms have emerged to develop proprietary spacecraft and launch infrastructure, with the objective of delivering experiences to a more inclusive customer profile in a safer and a more affordable manner.

Creating Positive Impact Through Innovation

They are also creating a positive impact on this industry and society by advancing technology, creating jobs, inspiring education, promoting research and fostering cooperation. These leading companies are working to make space tourism accessible to more people through reduced costs and innovative technologies. SpaceX’s reusable rockets have helped drive down launch expenses while Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are developing spacecraft specifically designed for space tourism missions. Their test flights and commercial operations are generating significant interest among would-be space travellers and investors alike. As the industry matures its more likely that many people from diverse backgrounds may have opportunities to experience the wonders of space.

While the industry evolves into its new era, we may see space travel transition from an extraordinary feat to an attainable experience for more adventurous travellers. The potential for growth in the decades to come remains vast if safety, affordability and reliability continue to improve. The dawn of the space tourism age is an exciting time that could fundamentally transform how humans engage with and experience the wonders of space.

Space Tourism & Commercial Spaceflight Read More »

sustainable space

Space Agenda- Balancing Growth and Sustainability

Space activity is growing very rapidly, and many more countries and companies want to be part of it. But there is even more potential. New technologies have made space more accessible– and this has led to new uses for space and ways it can help solve big global problems. Countries and industries have worked together in some areas, but the fast growth could cause problems as the international cooperation and rules may not keep up. Global politics are complicated too. If we want space to help as much as possible, countries will need to think about how to keep it a place where everyone works together.

Current State of Space

The space industry is experiencing unprecedented growth since Sputnik, with billions in private investment fuelling new startups in rocketry and satellites. SpaceX has significantly reduced launch costs to low Earth orbit through reusable rockets, lowering prices to $1,200 per pound of payload. This has enabled more satellite constellations like OneWeb’s planned fleet of 650 satellites and SpaceX’s Starlink network of over 2,000 satellites launched so far. Amazon plans to spend $10 billion on their Project Kuiper constellation of 3,200 satellites.

The increase in satellites is a concern as space debris grows, including defunct satellites and rocket stages. This debris could trigger a chain reaction of collisions called the Kessler Syndrome, eventually making some orbits difficult to use. Launches also raise sustainability issues through greenhouse gas emissions– though effects on the atmosphere are still unknown.

However, more satellites also enable cheaper environmental and human rights monitoring. Commercial imagery has revealed war crimes in Ukraine. Tensions grew from a near collision between Starlink satellites and China’s space station, highlighting the need for better communication as outer space resource extraction begins.

Key Developments and Challenges

  • Major space companies have pledged to advance diversity by annually reporting workforce diversity data and partnering with universities to increase underrepresented groups in technical fields.
  • The UN banned mercury as a satellite propellant by 2025 due to human health risks from mercury reentering the atmosphere. A whistleblower had revealed a mercury thruster was being developed in 2018. The ban occurred before any reached orbit.
  • Astroscale received ESA funding for a 2024 demo mission to remove a OneWeb satellite from orbit, testing debris removal. They plan to launch a commercial de-orbit service for satellite operators.

Ensuring a Sustainable Future

  1. By the aerospace companies:
    • Durable designs
    • Coordinated Operation
    • Sustainable Disposal
    • Continuous Assessment
  2. By the international agencies:
    • Space surveillance and tracking
    • Regulation and standards
    • International cooperation

Space Agenda- Balancing Growth and Sustainability Read More »

sustainable space

The Space Industry- Poised for Sustainable Growth

The pre-eminent race for space first began in the 20th century between the USA and USSR which was an extension of the cold war between those countries. Both wanted to project their superiority onto the world and conquering space was a means to do so. The evolution of human civilization was just a pretext for the same.

For reference, NASA’s budget peaked in 1965 at almost $60 billion during the race against the Soviet Union. The race was expensive, with the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects costing $25 billion at the time and more than $110 billion when adjusted for inflation. While the estimated budget for ISRO in 2023 is $1.6 Billion. The difference is just jaw-dropping.

After the Cold War the interest in space in the public domain waned as the world started focusing on other concerns. But the interest now has resurfaced, and the pioneers are no longer the government space agencies, rather it’s the private sector carrying the helm and the motivation behind the sector’s uprising is economic and social prosperity.

Space-Based Companies

The following table lists the leading space-based companies:

But it’s not just the big companies who are leading the way, there have been numerous start-ups around the world that are making their presence felt.

Space-Based Innovations

However a popular misconception exists within people that when we talk about space-based companies, it’s related to rocket launch and satellites. But these companies often develop application that utilise the existing network of satellites to develop solutions for various sectors. These application ranges from Energy and Mining to Finance. Multiple aspects within the domain of this industry mingle with each other to formulate a strategy of cohesive growth.

After knowing about the possibilities that the space-based industry holds, containing the excitement and hype is not possible. Even in India the momentum behind space-based activities is huge, with the success of Chandrayaan-3’s Moon landing, it is pertinent to acknowledge that many homegrown spacetech startups have emerged as silent knights.

Just until a few years ago, the amount of space missions were insignificant, and the private sector was effectively non-existent but 2022 witnessed the historic first private rocket launch by Skyroot and multiple other satellite launches, grabbing eyeballs the world over.

This has been made possible by the government’s push and support for the private sector in spacetech. In July, the GST Council set the launchpad for spacetech startups with a 0% GST regime. During the 50th meeting of the Council, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted that the initiative was aimed at fostering emerging startups in the rapidly growing spacetech sector.

Another report by IN-SPACE-e, an autonomous body under the Department of Space, suggests that India’s space sector has the potential to grow from $8.4 billion currently to $44 billion in the next decade.

Potential for Growth

According to a study published by IBEF in December 2022, India accounted for 2.1% of the global space economy in 2020, with a market share of $9.6 Bn, comprising 0.4% of the country’s total GDP. However, India’s space economy has the potential to grow significantly in the coming years. Plenty evidence suggest that India’s space economy could potentially touch $100 billion by 2040.

The Space Industry- Poised for Sustainable Growth Read More »

Aerospace Supplies Government Agency Avaiation

305 Aero Supplies

305 Aero Supplies partnered with Ruskin Felix Consulting LLC where in RFC consulted them to be prepared on how to position them in the current landscape of the US markets. They are a small and growing business providing all sorts of solutions for engineering and IT projects, especially when it comes to aviation and electronics systems. Basically, 305 Aero Supplies offer products and services to help out the US defense industry – things like aircraft maintenance support, communications system support and project management.

305 Aero Supplies catered primarily to government agencies working in aerospace and defence industries which included the U.S. Department of Defence (DoD), U.S. Air Force (USAF), U.S. Navy (USN), U.S. Army (USA), and other federal agencies. RFC formulated their business model and strategy tailored to cater the needs of these agencies in form of sub-contracting agencies for tenders released by them. 305 Aero Supplies came under the special category of being a Service-Disabled & Veteran Owned Small Business which allowed them greater access to government contracts and tenders.

Leveraging the special status that 305 Aero Supplies holds we gave measures to optimize financing and tender opportunities through SBA (small business administration) programs. Through diligent market research and capability building mechanisms which will lead them to sustain their operations while being in competition with local players who operate in similar jurisdiction.

RFC recognized the unique expertise of 305 Aero Supplies in delivering highly complex services like aircraft services support, communication systems support services, electronic systems support services, field service representative (FSR) support, logistics support services, procurement services, project management, and quality assurance support to federal agencies and departments. We formulated the business strategy to build upon their expertise to cater the commercial sector with an objective to diversify and expand their customer base such that they do not become dependent on a restricted source of revenue.     

To initiate the expansion into the corporate sector and B2C opportunities, we designed an effective marketing strategy with an optimized sale funnel to generate leads, conversion and their retention. As a small and growing enterprise, developing strong connections in the B2B space is super important for 305 Aero Supplies. RFC helped in creating valuable strategies which led to upscale their functionability in the domain they wanted to cater in. RFC also helped them understand key account management strategies for longer retention policies which helped 305 aerospace focus on and establish important partnerships.

In conclusion, 305 Aero Supplies is an ideal partner for the aerospace and defence industries because to our extensive background in avionics and electronics and our many relevant certifications. Furthermore, as they expand, they will be able to take on increasingly difficult tasks.

305 Aero Supplies Read More »

Airline RFC Airplane

Company Analysis – Wizz Air

Ruskin Felix Consulting (RFC) collaborated with Wizz Air Holdings, a prominent low-cost airline operating across Central and Eastern Europe, to provide strategic leadership consulting. The comprehensive report prepared by RFC included a thorough analysis of the company’s financial health and risk assessment, aimed at identifying opportunities for growth and risk mitigation.

RFC conducted a detailed computation of the gearing ratio for Wizz Air over the years, highlighting a notable increase in debt levels in 2021, mainly attributed to increased leverage and leasing costs, fleet expansion, working capital requirements, and the impact of COVID-19 on revenue generation. The report delved into the debt analysis, revealing an alarming negative Interest Coverage Ratio and an exceptionally high Debt-to-Equity ratio, raising concerns about the company’s financial stability and going concern aspect.

To address these risks, RFC presented risk mitigation strategies for Wizz Air. The company can optimize its gearing ratio by paying off debts through various means, including increasing shareholder equity, converting loans into stock, minimizing operating costs, and maximizing revenue through profit-maximizing plans. The report recommended attaining full normalcy of operations once COVID restrictions are lifted and seeking strategic partners for funding and investment partnerships.

Additionally, RFC formulated a fleet plan strategy for Wizz Air aimed at reducing unit costs to compete with main rival Ryanair in the Central/Eastern Europe market. The fleet plan involved rapid capacity growth over several years, which may also exert downward pressure on unit revenue. However, the strategy’s underlying premise was that the fleet plan would result in lower unit costs, surpassing any potential decline in unit revenue in the long run.

Furthermore, the report emphasized the importance of deleveraging, which would be dependent on market recovery and fleet growth. RFC’s assessment indicated that Wizz Air’s funds from operations adjusted net leverage would remain weak in the near future but could improve beyond the negative sensitivity threshold by FYE24. To safeguard the company’s position as a market leader, Wizz Air implemented cost-reduction measures and focused on growth, postponing dividends in FY22-FY24. RFC’s leadership consulting services empowered Wizz Air to address financial challenges, optimize growth opportunities, and enhance its competitive position in the dynamic aviation industry. With a clear roadmap for risk mitigation and growth, Wizz Air remains poised for success and continued market leadership under the guidance of RFC.

Company Analysis – Wizz Air Read More »

European Space Agency

Ruskin Felix Consulting LLC prepared a strategic plan for COVID-19 response by European Space Agency (ESA), while also assessing the strategies and the current scenario. The report lays emphasis on the current COVID-19 issue and assesses the duration of impact in the long-term and short-term. A clear understanding of the behavioral aspects and the global measures taken by other agencies is highlighted in the report. The response to the current COVID-19 situation and strategies post COVID-19 is highlighted in the report. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all industries, worldwide, were striving to ameliorate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. That was a particularly sensitive issue for the space activity industry, which must be proactive to safeguard the high value and influence it has on the world economy. The sector will continue to bear some significant consequences from this global crisis. Space science, its operations, missions, research practices, and so on are mostly conceived for face-to-face work. As an immediate consequence, confinement impedes efficient collaboration and forces engineers, scientists, and other personnel to work remotely. It is unprecedented for space agencies or sophisticated engineering organizations to work this way. There are security and privacy risks, as well as an ongoing process of troubleshooting that arises from a culture of face-to-face employment.

Given the COVID-19 situation, European Space Agency was forced to temporarily scale down and even stop some of its key operations and missions, the recent four-spacecraft Cluster mission, for example. This led to a real, pressing dilemma for the upper management of the ESA and other agencies. They have taken concrete measures to minimize risks to employees, but the question is whether the measures should continue as they are or if there are ways to improve the productivity of the agency. Under the unprecedented conditions, a research-based road map that outlines potential solutions and best practices could be especially helpful. The goal of this report is to highlight and address this issue for bringing efficiency and effectiveness into existing systems and procedures.

The aim of the whole strategy is not just to prevent damage to the operations of the agency in the present and from similar epidemics in the future, but also to create an environment to sustain growth, bring in innovation and designing and assembling machines and technology. Innovation should be at the forefront of the agency and should hold the main responsibility for taking ESA to the next level. A special cell should be created for design innovation, its strategic implementation, creating technologies to monitor them. 

ESA should aim to become the agency of the future by bringing a higher sense of conviction in its operations and efficiency. The Digital etiquette of all stakeholders must be bettered to introduce more reliance and sustenance of operations during any collapse. A disaster management unit should be made to set up policies and procedures taking all aspects into account – Biohazard, Epidemics, Natural Disasters, etc. ESA should be the most prepared when it comes to its response against any odds and should have contingencies to guide itself through each storm. 

By 2025, in a short span of 5 years, ESA should demonstrate successful project completions with proper integration of technology, additive manufacturing, A controlled use of AI, and partial virtual co-working.

European Space Agency Read More »

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About Ruskin Felix Consulting LLC

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Featured Reports

Understand the macroeconomic situations that affect the global positioning of countries.

Businesses can better understand how chatbots can advocate their vision.

DeFi helps reduce dependency on traditional methods of transactions.

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Understand how the U.S. discrepancy in accordance to their debt creates a havoc. 

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