My largest personal interest is space-based assemblies.
I think now that we’re seeing Elon Musk’s price point of Starship+Super Heavy at less than Falcon 9’s cost, you might actually see a pretty substantial revenue stream from space tourism.
If you can manufacture inflatable modules that go right up against the volume and payload limitations of BFR, and if you can do it at a price efficiency similar to SpaceX, you’re talking a major potential return on investment.
Lets pick a ticket price of 45,000 dollars.
You could probably get get 0.05% of Asia at that price, ~2 million people out of 4.463 billion. Europe + North America is about 1.060 billion people. You could probably get a quarter of a percent of the population at that price, another 2 million. Add up the rest of the world for another couple million people per year for 6 million per year. Lets just use 5 million since it’s such a rough estimate.
That rakes in 225 billion a year in revenue. So, lets do some financial math. Say 5,200 people per hotel stay in it per year (100 at a time per week, getting rotated in and out). That’s 234 million per year in revenue. Lets say its operational cost is 100 million per year in repairs, upgrades, cargo, salaries, etc per unit. That’s a gross profit of 134 million. So, we’re going to value a 134 million dollar per year annuity of a single spacecraft, and use that to value the R&D to develop the hotel.
If you use present value formula and use a fairly standard discount rate of 6% and say this thing gets used for 10 years at that price point, you get a present valuation per unit of about a billion dollars.
So, if you serve 10% of the space tourist market per year, 500k people at 5000 people per unit, that’s 100 units, times 800 million, which gives you an 80 billion dollar valuation but with a research budget of more like a quarter of that, so like 20 billion dollars.
That’s many years down the line for that kind of low price point. Likely it’ll be catering to the ultra wealthy, who will fund such development more directly which will more immediately drive venture capital.
Seriously though, the price per launch given that the BFR/Starship/Superheavy whatever you want to call it will end up closer to the Falcon 9 per unit means that things will start to dramatically change.