A&I Wealth Management > Periscope Newsletter > Space Force or Space Race?

Read this Periscope for insights into the space race, and why the Space Force might not be as crazy as it sounds.

Cooperation and Competition in Space
China is big, but outer space is even bigger. And it’s not just the USA who is going to outer space. A lot of other countries want to go there, and many are already doing it!

See also: Why We Invest Internationally

In years past, the space race was a product of the Cold War. Sputnik, from the Soviet Union, put a man in orbit. Famously, the USA put a man on the moon. The two countries bragged about their successes. Their efforts were anything but private affairs. The competition between countries created tremendous cooperation between companies and the government.

Today, the world has been flipped on its head. Companies are taking the lead in the space race and countries are trying to keep up. The amazing competition between companies has accelerated the pace of development with staggering success. In the past, cooperation between companies and the government that developed NASA—the world’s most successful space flight organization. Today, the space race is all about competition.

Privatizing Outer Space
One of the biggest changes in our times, often overlooked, is the privatization of the space race. The social ramifications are profound and explored in some great mockumentaries on Netflix and other media. That’s outside the scope of the Periscope.

Ultimately, as a member of your financial advisor team, we want to make sure we make good business decisions. The following chart says a lot, I think, about the incredible price of shooting a person into space. It’s still very expensive, but it’s a fraction of what it used to be. The space business is becoming profitable.


SpaceX is, by far, the least expensive space flight solution in the history of the world.

Space Race Between Countries
America is not the only country shooting people to the stars. In fact, you might not have known it, but even the middle east is sending equipment to Mars! The space race is on, as the following chart shows, and businesses are paying attention.


Space Force
I enjoyed a Netflix series with Steve Carell called Space Force. It’s ruthless in its depiction of our political leaders—so be ready to set aside your politics to laugh. But if you can do that, I hope you enjoy the ride half as much as I did.

As crazy as it sounds, this show may reveal some truths about our future. In Space Force, other countries don’t tell the USA what they’re doing in space. The space race is happening now, and countries and companies are not telling each other about it.

We live in interesting times. Countries compete with companies, who compete with other companies. Competition will keep all of us in the audience in the dark. Compare today’s situation to the past. It took cooperation to put people on the Moon. And, in Apollo 13, a lot of cooperation to get them back. We feel nostalgic about great science and heroic scientists, working for the good of humanity. Not so, today. Clearly, this space race is pragmatic. These companies are out for profits.

The tug between cooperation and competition is part of a healthy and dynamic democracy. In this election year, I hope we can take two steps back occasionally and put into perspective the amazing breakthroughs we are achieving, so quickly, in so many parts of the world and beyond. I’m not sure there has ever been a more interesting time than today to be alive.


“A Tesla stock chart turned into art. It features a rocket (a reference to SpaceX).”


(1) https://www.statista.com/chart/21904/estimated-cost-per-seat-on-selected-spacecraft/#:~:text=It%20resulted%20in%20the%20cheapest,programs%20and%20even%20the%20Soyuz.

(2) https://www.statista.com/chart/22328/timeline-of-mars-missions/#:~:text=On%20July%2019%2C%20the%20United,nearly%20two%20years%20on%20Earth.

(3) https://kottke.org/20/08/turning-stock-charts-into-landscape-art?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=email

About the author

Karl Frank, Certified Financial Planner ®, MSF, MBA, MA, is the President of A&I Financial Services LLC, a local business that specializes in wealth management, insurance planning, and retirement planning. Karl cares for business owners and the businesses that care for them. Learn More about Karl.