Private space companies will enable ‘deeper’ government. missions

As part of Yahoo Finance’s Space Race: Investing in the Final Frontier special, Matthew Kuta, co-founder and president of Voyager Space, sits down with Brad Smith to discuss the future of private sector operators in the space economy, such as the International Space Station (ISS) could do that. retire in the coming years.

“If you go back to the days of the space shuttle, it was incredibly expensive to launch a kilogram into space, like $1 million. And now that commercialization has arrived and mass is being launched into orbit, the order of a kilogram is much less. You know, $1,000,” Kuta says. “So a lot of business models are starting to close now that you can actually get things into space much more cost effectively. And now that we’re able to have these business models that are actually closing, you can actually get to space not just for space use, but also to improve humanity here on earth.”

Kuta outlines that sustainability and adaptability are an important part of the developing private space economy: “Imagine flying an airplane [Boeing] 747, every time you landed you threw the plane away, right? And you didn’t reuse it.”

Finally, Kuta believes that despite the vast differences in other sectors, space companies should be run and operated like any other business so that the public can have confidence in them, including communications teams and outreach: “And as far as I’m concerned, the more people There at the grassroots level that is just involved with the space, it’s starting to seep through a bit.”

Check out Yahoo Finance’s special coverage as part of this week’s Space Race: Investing in the Final Frontier series.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Asking for a Trend.

This post was written by Luke Carberry Mogan.

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Video transcription

Joined here in the studio by Matthew Kuda, co-founder and president of Voyager Space.

Thank you so much for taking some time out of here for us.

You need to take us to Voyager space where the company is located.

Straight away.

I know you’ve made more significant additions, more hires.

This is how you really complete the team.

What’s next from this moment here?


Yes, thanks for having us too.

You know, Voyager space.

We are the world’s largest commercial user of the International Space Station.

So we’ve done commercial business with over 30 different space agencies, major corporations like Hilton Hotels, and national security research institutions.

And right now, we’re focused on building the replacement for the International Space Station, which is expected to be disassembled and put into orbit around 2030.


Okay, so what is that process?

What that timeline looks like and everything from conception to making sure we have it fully functional and operational in space.

The International Space Station is therefore a strategic asset for the United States and our allies.

It’s over 20 years old, so it’s just getting older.

It had an engineering design life of approximately 15 years.

So it’s time for an upgrade.

And about 2.5 years ago, Voyager, we were selected as the prime contractor to build the replacement for the ISS.

And it will be disassembled and put into orbit, retired.

And then the future is that private industry will own these as assets, and then the client government, uh, CBA, will support satellite companies.

Pharmaceutical companies will pay to use those Marco Gravity labs as a service, and that’s where the astronauts will go.

Um, and we’re working with Airbus, Mitsubishi Corporation and MD A in Canada.

And all that taking into account the changing model of who pays to play on the ISS.

How will that make it more sustainable in the long term?

So if you think about what NASA and really global space agencies have done since, like, the 1950s, they saw lower Earth orbit so close to home, the economy.

So things in space are government owned, government operated, government funded and over time as it has matured it is now safe at the right time to have the government hand over the keys to private industry, um, to own and operate Leo, so that you now know that you can free up a budget for governments that can do deeper space exploration.

But maybe there’s not really a commercial market, you know, deeper space missions to Venus or Mars or things like that.

What do you think about how many of SpaceX’s private companies of blue origin are really competing for some government contracts and government dollars to make sure they too are successful with their missions?

And how does that create a more connected border, if you will?

I love it.

I mean, if you go back to the days of the space shuttle, launching a kilogram into space was incredibly expensive, you know, like a million dollars.

And now that commercialization has arrived and a mass has been put into orbit, the order of a kilogram is much less, you know, $1000.

So a lot of business models are starting to close now, now that you can get things up and running much more cost effectively.

And now that we’re able to actually close down these business models.

You can actually use space not just for space, but also to improve humanity here on Earth.

Where are we?

In ramping up towards greater sustainability, because it is somewhat related to our own ambitions in space.


I would say we’re definitely early, but we’re on the right track.

So when you think about aviation as a proxy, imagine flying a 7.

47 Every time you landed, you threw the plane away, and you didn’t use it again.

So, um, but flying rockets and stuff like that into space is very complex and you have a radiation speed of 17,000 miles per hour.

It’s hot, it’s cold.

So you have to be able to think a little differently.

It’s not here on earth, but it’s certainly something that actually drives business and business models.

Which companies are currently involved in space travel?

The obvious one is SpaceX.

I mean, really, without the ability to get things into orbit much more cost-effectively, some of the other business models aren’t going to work. It’s like trying to do global commerce before the Internet.

If it costs, you know, $5 million to fly from London to New York.

So the ability to actually transfer things is incredibly important.

There are so many space barons as they are called.

Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Elon Musk.

How many more profiles really need to enter the fray before the broader public can trust that it’s not just billionaires who are driving the broader vision of space?

The way I would answer that is a little different.

It’s less about the profiles.

It’s more about understanding.

I have.

You know, I mentor people and people ask me questions about how can I get into the space industry?

And it’s like these are businesses.

These are companies, whether it’s Voyager Space or Blue Origin or a small start-up, you still need marketing.

You need public relations.

You need financing.

Of course, you need all the technology, so everything you need in any other traditional company you need in space travel, and for me, the more people at the grassroots level are just involved in space travel, the more it becomes. starts to emerge.

Where are companies finally starting to see profitability that gets space, right?


Well, I think you see a number of companies that are doing well and are already profitable today.

Um, but the highlight for me is when I talked to people about it, I stayed close to home.

So things that are closer to Earth, lower Earth orbit, are still incredibly high risk.

It can still be technically complex.

It could potentially be Capex intensive, but if you stay closer to home you have a better chance, at least from an investment perspective, of, you know, getting your return on investment within a reasonable period of time, the further deep into space you go to the moon Mars and beyond.

Um, you know, me. I think it’s still a distant stock return.

Matthew Ka, co-founder and president of Voyager Space.

Thank you so much for taking the time here with us on all of you Finance.

Thank you.

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