Are We Gonna Mine the Moon?
Everyone’s heading to space.
I don’t mean you and me, of course, but that certainly applies to both governments and private enterprises looking for the next frontier of profits.
You’ve probably seen countless stories about billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk being in a race with each other to get into space. A lot of that narrative frames that competition in the context of the extremely wealthy stroking their egos, but there’s much more to it than that.
There’s money to be made out in space, so of course some of the world’s richest men want in on the action. After all, Goldman Sachs says space riches will create the world’s first trillionaire.
For the countries scrambling to get out there, it’s about the resources that will bring that money in, but it’s also about the scientific research that 21st-century space exploration will allow.
When you think about the sheer variety of minerals and resources that can be found in space, you start to understand just why we’re seeing the dawn of a new Space Race.
Gold, iron, nickel, platinum, palladium, and cobalt are just a few of the metals that can be found in asteroids and near-Earth objects. These metals are always in demand by the automotive industry, big tech companies, and the defense industry, among others. With Earth’s population growing and the availability of these elements dwindling, there’s an increased interest in getting into space and grabbing what’s out there rather than continuing to scour the planet.
But the search isn’t limited to just the metals I’ve named above.
There’s long been evidence that there is water on the moon, and that would play an important role in any future habitation on the lunar surface. Likewise, if there are large enough quantities of it, it could be used to help provide breathable oxygen as well as components of rocket fuel.
This would make not only long-term missions on the moon possible, but would allow the moon to act as a sort of staging ground for space-based missions that range farther out into the solar system. Think manned missions to Mars and beyond.
Discoveries like this are why countries like the U.S., Russia, China, and many others are funding moon missions over the next decade. But water and rare minerals aren’t the only reasons for this rush to outer space.
One story getting less attention than it should is the fact that there is a helium shortage on Earth. You might know it as the gas used to fill party balloons, but it does so much more than that.
The health care industry relies on it to power MRI machines. The tech industry needs it to manufacture the semiconductors that go in just about everything. The high-speed internet that connects the world needs it because the cables that make the technology possible are made in pure-helium environments.
Helium is one of the unsung heroes of industry, and without it many different sectors would come grinding to a halt.
Helium reserves here on Earth are rapidly depleting and have been for years, but there’s plenty of it out in space.
That’s one of the main reasons billionaires, private ventures, and governments are trying to stake a claim on the moon. It’s the second-most abundant element in the universe, so there is money to be made for those who can get it.
When this race heats up, the focus will be on the big names trying to get their shares.
There will be small ventures doing the exact same thing, but to little fanfare. That’s where everyday investors can get in on this emerging trend.
Keep your eyes open,
Editor, Daily Profit Cycle
Ryan Stancil is an editor and regular contributor to Daily Profit Cycle. He’s been active in the financial publishing industry for more than half a decade, offering insights and commentary on technology and geopolitics to help readers make sense of the constantly changing landscape and how it affects their investments. His readers appreciate his "tell it as it is" writing style, where he always offers a fresh new perspective on what's happening in the market and leaves nothing unsaid.