Friday, October 27, 2023
Those set to explore outer space will have a number of things to worry about…
But if all goes according to plan, a reliable internet connection won’t be one of them.
You see, NASA just announced tests for a space-based internet, a system that will use infrared lasers to send and receive data at blazing speeds. We’re talking 1.2 gigabits per second — fast enough to download a movie from outer space in less than a minute.
Successful tests and a subsequent implementation would easily be one of the most important infrastructure developments in recent history, especially as the “new space race” heats up.
Today, I’ll tell you my No. 1 way to invest in this development and position yourself for market-beating returns.
To set the stage here, let me tell you more about NASA’s intentions with its upcoming space-based internet.
This will be the agency’s first two-way, end-to-end laser communication system. With this new approach, NASA will be able to send more photos and bandwidth-hungry videos in far less time than existing radio communications can.
As we prepare to lay infrastructure on the moon and explore asteroids (and ultimately Mars), NASA needs a robust communications network to relay information about its discoveries.
The situation is akin to home internet. If you recall, we went from painfully slow dial-up service to broadband to optical networks that are 1,000 times faster than the early days.
Of course, there’s more going on here than just sending nifty photos and videos from outer space at lightning speeds...
NASA wants to be able to send videos and other data to and from deep space — at the very least, to and from the Moon and Mars.
Besides the fascinations inherent to learning more about the cosmos, the idea is to provide mission-critical data that could save equipment and even human lives.
This endeavor is occurring as private-industry leaders are stepping up the use of space-based lasers to beam data, photos, and videos to earth...
And it’s one of the reasons Mordor Intelligence reports that the market for satellite communications, including internet connections, is already valued at more than $47 billion. By 2028, it’ll be an $83 billion market.
One of the leaders in this market, perhaps unsurprisingly, is Elon Musk.
Part of his SpaceX business includes dotting outer space with a satellite system called Starlink. And he’s been quietly adding laser communications satellites into orbit.
SpaceX just put up 21 Starlink satellites last month, and the company is now focused on launching satellites that use laser communications rather than radio-frequency signals.
This will noticeably improve the capabilities of these satellites. You see, lasers have frequencies that are 100,000 times higher than those of radio frequencies (“RF”). That means we can use lasers to send and receive more bits of data per second than RF.
Furthermore, laser communications don’t require the ground-based infrastructure that RF satellites need. For example, they don’t need communication centers on the ground, and can beam signals directly to remote and previously inaccessible locations on Earth.
Since its inception, SpaceX has planned to use lasers for its constellation. But early on, this plan was costly. Now, it’s becoming an affordable option.
Of course, Musk isn’t the only one focused on laser communications.
A new mission headed by NASA called Psyche will relay back information on a distant asteroid using laser communications. And the next phase of its Artemis program will use laser communications when it launches the next space-launch system next year.
NASA has even launched a laser communications relay demonstration program to begin sending data using lasers from Earth to a satellite in geosynchronous orbit 22,000 miles above the planet.
But keep in mind that the benefits of laser-based communications aren’t limited to space exploration or Earth-to-space comms. There’s also the impact of data distribution right here on our planet.
This technology will mean truly global, wireless internet, with speeds unthinkable just a decade ago. It’ll be like jumping from the slow, clunky modem-driven internet to wireless 5G.
And this technology will enable more than just faster gaming or movie downloading. It’ll provide a major upgrade for both marine and aviation sectors, particularly considering they’ll be unchained from ground-based data centers.
It’s important to understand that this isn’t “pie-in-the-sky” technology. It’s already happening.
Several global powers are racing toward this form of communications, partly because many of them aren’t interested in using U.S. companies for such a powerful technology.
However, there’s no doubt that America’s leaders in this field will play a starring role here. And that’s why I recommend looking at Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC).
This aerospace and defense company is a key player in U.S. space exploration. And it ranks among the coveted makers of everything from high-altitude long-endurance drones to the next-generation stealth bomber fighter jet, to the James Webb Space Telescope.
It’s also a key member of the United Launch Alliance, which NASA is using to build out its Artemis moon program.
Over the past five years, NOC’s stock has delivered gains of close to 85%. During that time, it beat the S&P 500 by more than 50%.
As the world moves forward with laser-based systems to facilitate everything from downloading data to downloading movies, I expect companies like Northrop Grumman to reap the rewards. And with an investment in this company, you can, too.
Cheers and Good Investing,
Chief Investment Officer
Trend Trader Daily