India’s first Quadrillionaire: Understanding the true value of investing in Space Stations and biomedical research in microgravity.
By George S. Pullen, Chief Space Economist, Milky Way Economy
I get a bit fired up when people think that government spending money on Space developement is not investing on improving Spaceship Earth.
I didn't even mention the obvious fact that government spending is dictated by the people's will (or if you happen to live in the Washington, DC Beltway and believe it is the special interest groups) all of whom just so happen to also be passengers on Spaceship Earth. Even if someone was to hate the spending, do they also hate the jobs that the Space economy creates?
While some people think that government Space spending is stupid and ill advised, I respectfully disagree. Why I disagree is because most people haven’t realized just how much Space is in their everyday life. Some examples of how investing in Space, Space industries and the Space Economy impact you everyday:
- Any device you own with a GPS in it: car, phone, watch, etc…
- Everytime you check the weather (satellites have been telling you traffic and weather on the 8s for so long you understand the expression)
- Baby Food! Thats right. Guess who perfected formula to improve nourishment for infants? NASA. You’re welcome.
- Ever been rescued from a fire by a Firefighter? Their gear, all courtesy of Space exploration. Why? Fire is not always an astronaut's friend.
- Battery improvements for storing renewable energy and next generation #solarenergy cells. Again, brought to you courtesy of eighty plus years of Space investments.
- Advancements in #AgTech and indoor farming. (Note: the Milky Way Economy team debated listing hydroponics as one of NASA’s greatest achievements. But after much back and forth we had to conclude that the cannabis industry probably contributed more to NASA’s understanding of hydroponics than NASA contributed to the cannabis industry. Turns out if you want to grow tomatoes on the moon, don’t send an astronaut. Send a cannabis botanis.)
- Clean water technology (Astronauts drink their own pee…after its been cleaned by some of the very tech that makes your drinking water safer)
- Earth observation and measurement of deforestation, #pollution, oceans, and weather
The list goes on and on, and I didn't even get into my forecasts for the $4 Trillion dollar #spaceeconomy of the 2040s and how it relates to private space spending. The many opportunities that the #spaceindustry will provide to people all over the world in this new Space Economy relay race. Even without a discussion of #economics and finance or National Security, the incredible advancements provided to us by space are something to be proud of. For a better understanding of exactly how NASA investments spinoff solutions for your everyday life here is a link to NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Spinoffs: https://spinoff.nasa.gov/ NASA Spinoffs details some of the 2,000+ technologies improving & saving lives on Earth every day that were discovered because some folks dared to dream of sending rocketships to Space.
Investing in Space is not undertaken for its own sake. Investing in Space is not just about Up-And-Out technology. We did Up-and-Out investing in Space for the first 80 years of Humanity’s spacefaring ambitions. However, as we enter the 5th Industrial Revolution that is The Space Economy, the real value of Space is all the benefits that come from investing in and harvesting the benefits the Down-and-Around technology and scientific breakthroughs that Space provides.
To that end and how this article started, Milky Way Economy is predicting that the world’s first Quadrillionaire (that is someone who has 1000x more money than a lowly billionaire) will be a product of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) investment not in launch, in-orbit flight, or zero-gravity habitation but Down-And-Around technology derived from research done in microgravity. We can go further by saying it will be in the biomedical field. As analog astronaut and molecular geneticist Dr. Aidyl Gonzlez often expounds upon, “The secret to immortality is waiting for us in microgravity.” To that end and based on the number of biomedical spacestations that Orbital Assembly, Axiom Space, Nanoracks, Sierra Space, Think Orbital and others are building, we’re confident that the Milky Way galaxy’s first quadrillionaire will be Indian and she will not be a technologist or engineering but a medical researcher who unlocks the secret to turning off aging in cells, based on her work in one of the aforementioned spacestations.
How much are you willing to pay to stop aging?
And that is the real value of investing in Space. We will either find god, our closest solar neighbors or gain immortality. Seems like money well spent.
About the Authors
George S. Pullen and Samson Williams are founders of Milky Way Economy, a Washington, DC based think tank who specialize in understanding the economic foundations of the Fifth Industrial Revolution and the Space Economy. In addition to writing, researching and being investors in 5th Industrial Revolution companies, Samson and George are adjunct professors at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and instructors at Columbia University in NYC. Additionally, George is a Marine (former) and guest lecturer at the National Defense University.