By Sarah Cruddas
11 August 2015
Space has long been off-limits to most of us. It’s almost 60 years since the launch of Sputnik 1 heralded the birth of the space age. Since then people have walked on the moon, robotic rovers have trundled across the Martian surface and a wealth of probes have explored the worlds in our solar system – most recently, Pluto. But the space industry has typically been the preserve of governments – only they have had the pockets deep enough to fund it.
In recent years, however, companies like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic have begun to commercialise space exploration – to the tune of $13bn (£8.3bn) over the past decade. These investors might help to realise ambitious ideas like holidays to the moon, lunar mining and trips to Mars – ideas that could see many ordinary people one day enjoying out-of-this-world experiences. Just last month, a report part-funded by Nasa suggested a permanent Moon base could be finished by the 2030s – and private investors may help construct it. As the market grows and becomes more relevant to every day consumers, should canny investors be reaching for the stars?
Chad Anderson thinks so. He is managing director of European operations at the Space Angels Network, an investment network which connects potential space investors to the commercial space industry. “Space is an industry which is yet to be imagined,” he says – and that means people investing today can actually provide the industry with shape and direction. “In 2012 we …