Artemis lunar mission boosting public and investor support, says Morgan Stanley Space Team

Turns out investment bank Morgan Stanley has a dedicated Space Team, and they’re awfully jazzed about the impact NASA’s Artemis Moon mission is having on public and investor support in the companies like Virgin Galactic.

The Morgan Stanley Space Team advises that “increased news flow around space tourism could catalyze itself in increasing awareness to a larger breadth of investors being interested in Virgin Galactic,” specifically citing the firm for being the only pure-play publicly traded space tourism company.

Virgin Galactic recently shared its first full year of earnings results as a publicly traded company and made steps toward making space tourism possible. SpaceX similarly has ambitions to build a business out of taking private citizens to space for longer durations than Blue Origin.

NASA’s Artemis mission to put the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 is credited for driving public awareness of space activity, and the investment firm believes consumers will associate Virgin Galactic with human spaceflight innovation “as the business shifts from a niche experience catering to high net worth individuals to investing in more applications in space.”

The investor report also cites Amazon CEO and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine publicly messaging the need to not only return to the surface of the Moon, but to establish a permanent presence.

In short, the Morgan Stanley Space Team doesn’t believe we’ve even began to reach the ceiling of investors realizing the significance of future human missions to the Moon and how capital formation will be affected.

The investment bank also highlights SpaceX’s progress on fulfilling their NASA contract to the Commercial Crew Program this summer. SpaceX is expected to launch astronauts on the Crew Dragon capsule in May. The event will be a first for Elon Musk’s rocket company and mark a return to human spaceflight capabilities from American soil for the first time since the Space Shuttle was retired in 2011.

Morgan Stanley also views competition and involvement in space activity from other countries including China, Russia, India, Israel, and Japan as having a positive impact on the space economy for investors.

Perhaps the best part of the investor note is this. The Morgan Stanley Space Team does not “advise planning an investor conference, or frankly, anything, that will require the attention of large groups of people if it were to overlap with the timing of the next moon walk… this time broadcast in high definition to your living room or smart phone.”

Why? 600 million people tuned in to the first Moon landing 50 years ago, and the planet is much more connected today. Morgan Stanley suggests it could be the most viewed event in history.

We’re still in the early days of Artemis, however, but there’s plenty of time to spread the good word.

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