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2020.01.05 Penn Wealth Report Vol 8 Issue 01

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12 penn wealth Report volume 8 issue 01 05 Jan 2020 Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Science & Technology Investor Space Sciences & Exploration Back to the Future: Space Travel Finally Becomes Reality Remember those dog-eared science fiction paperbacks you used to read in your school's library? All of a sudden, they are finally coming to fruition. 20 July 1969. One of the most monumental days in human history. Almost unfathomably, with the use of slide rules, rudimentary (comparatively) telecommu- nications equipment, and some absolutely incredible brainpower, the United States landed two of its citi- zens—with a third circling in orbit above—on the surface of another world. Over the next three years, ten more Americans would walk on the dusty surface of the moon. ere was no limit—seemingly—to what the country could accomplish in space. By the 1980s, we were told, there would be lunar bases and manned missions to Mars. en the dry spell came. Despite the overall success of the Space Shuttle pro- gram, the country seemed to lose its interest in space travel. Under the Obama administration, the only nation to land humans on another world gave up the ability to even launch them into space. Our astronauts had to hitch rides aboard Russian rockets. What would John Kennedy say? All of a sudden, however, thanks to a new gener- ation of billionaire space enthusiasts and a renewed attitude at NASA (gone are the outreach programs, back are the dreamers), we are once again the world's preeminent space power. Even the United States Space Force (USSF) has become a reality—the first new branch of the military since the United States Air Force officially stood up on 18 September 1947. e biggest space events that will occur in 2020. For space nerds like me, who got up early one summer morning in 1976 to watch America land the world's first spacecraft on another planet (Viking on Mars, seven years to the day after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon), 2020 is going to be a thrilling year, with two major human spaceflight mile- stones taking place. First, Virgin Galactic (SPCE $12), the self-pro- claimed "spaceline for Earth," will begin ferrying passengers—at $250k per ticket—to the edge of space on suborbital flights. Secondly, and much more impor- tantly from a national security standpoint, Americans will return to space aboard American-made rockets. Elon Musk's privately-held SpaceX will launch its Crew Dragon spacecraft, atop a Falcon Heavy rocket, into orbit with astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken aboard, ultimately docking with the International Space Station (ISS). at could hap- pen in the first half of the year, based on successful unmanned tests in 2019. ere is a competing spacecraft looking to launch astronauts into orbit in 2020: the United Launch Alliance's (Boeing and Lockheed Martin) Starliner, lifted by an Atlas V rocket. Unfortunately, Boeing's (BA) aircraft challenges have bled over into its space unit, with the Starliner failing a key test in December. Nonetheless, we fully expect SpaceX, which has suc- cessfully completed a frenetic launch manifest schedule to date, to achieve manned missions this year. Few realize just how disruptive the space industry will become as an investment conduit over the com- ing years. We see the nascent space economy growing to a $1 trillion in relatively short order. Unfortunately, many of our favorite would-be investments are still private—namely, Musk's SpaceX. Virgin Galactic did begin trading under ticker SPCE last year, but we're not keen on that investment right now. Investors need to be creative in this space. Instead of investing in well-known names like Boeing, look for the plethora of publicly-traded companies that make components for the spacecraft. Better yet, consider the Procure Space ETF (UFO $27), which holds a basket of thirty top space-related companies. Happy travels! Big Falcon Rocket (BFR)/Big Falcon Spaceship (BFS) combo. Courtesy of SpaceX.

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