Jeff Bezos, chief of retail giant Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , is striving to build low-cost space infrastructure that could make space travel cheap for future generations, a CNBC report stated on Oct 3.
According to Bezos, the energy and resources of the solar system will remain untapped unless made accessible by inexpensive space transportation, which could help future generations become space entrepreneurs.
Recently, companies in the space segment have been sensing fierce rivalry, thereby strengthening their efforts to stay relevant. Companies like Aerojet Rocketdyne (AJRD - Free Report) , which won key rocket contracts earlier, now face competition from the likes of Bezos’ spaceflight services company
Blue Origin and Tesla’s SpaceX that are developing space infrastructure with the aim of bringing costs down.
Therefore, more aerospace giants now are working hard to enhance their technological capabilities in spaceflight, making the segment lucrative for investment.
Blue Origin’s Aim to Make Space Attainable
Blue Origin is working toward developing reusable rockets. Earlier this year, the company test fired its BE-4 engine, which is a vital part of its New Glenn rocket. The engine has been designed along the lines of reusability and is expected to perform 100 starts.
BE-4 is now ready for commercial prospects as it was selected by United Launch Alliance last month for powering its next-generation Vulcan Centaur rocket. Alliance is a joint venture between Lockheed Martin (LMT - Free Report) and Boeing (BA - Free Report) .
New Glenn plans to serve any customer base, be it military, commercial or civil post its launch in 2020. The company also plans to launch space tourism with its New Shepard rocket by the end of 2018.
Similar Initiatives in the Industry
SpaceX has a goal akin to Blue Origin’s to make space transportation affordable. This would enable humans to live on other planets. Both companies are developing reusable rockets, a concept many industry stakeholders claim to be cost-effective.
According to Smith, reusability helps save 50-75% of cost, a statement made credible by SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket priced at $150 million.
Apart from Blue Origin and SpaceX, many companies are gaining momentum in their drive for inexpensive space infrastructure. American space transportation company Vulcan Aerospace’s subsidiary Stratolaunch Systems is developing low-cost orbital launch models, Portland-based Odyne Space is trying to send cost-effective nanosatellites to space and Texas-based Ixion plans to convert a spent rocket tank into a habitat, which would eliminate costs for building one.
3 Space Stocks in Focus
The space industry could be worth $1.1 trillion by 2040, according to a Morgan Stanley report. As the industry is witnessing more customer signups for space tourism since 2001, affordable space tours promise a solid business for the related companies.
Therefore, it seems prudent to keep the following space stocks in your watch list.
Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings is engaged in developing advanced commercial, military and civil systems for defence and aerospace industries. The company’s major involvement is in the area of propulsion systems. Aerojet Rocketdyne carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and its shares have gained 6.4% since the beginning of the year. The company’s earnings are expected to grow 71.6% for 2018.
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Raytheon Company (RTN - Free Report) develops technologically advanced and integrated products, services and solutions. The company has been associated with spaceflight from the very beginning, guiding the first space capsules including Apollo 11. Raytheon carries a Zacks Rank #3 and its earnings are expected to grow 30.3% for the current year. Its shares have gained 10.2% year to date.
Lockheed Martin Corporation has built more interplanetary spacecraft than any other company in the United States. It’s the chief contractor constructing NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Lockheed Martin carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and its shares have gained 8.2% year to date. The company’s earnings are expected to grow 27.6% for 2018.
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