Jul 21, 2020 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) -- Space as an investment is sexy right now, capturing the attention of not just billionaires, but everyone. Guys like Amazon /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +0.66% founder Jeff Bezos, and Tesla /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +1.95% CEO Elon Musk and Virgin Galactic /zigman2/quotes/208333884/composite SPCE +1.21% Chairman Chamath Palihapitiya and co-founder Sir Richard Branson have the type of resources to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into space companies, but that doesn’t mean they had to. Face it, they have countless investment opportunities at their fingertips. The common theme amongst these visionaries is that space is a great investment that will return huge rewards.
Presuming no connections to any of the aforementioned men, the average person isn’t going to be able to invest in private firms like Bezos’ Blue Origin or Musk’s SpaceX, leaving Virgin Galactic as one of the few public companies that gets much appreciation as a space play. When SPCE came public in October 2019, its wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, though. Shares got nearly halved down to a low of $6.90 before investors started piling on, rocketing the stock all the way up to $42.49 on February 20th.
A lot More Than Just SPCE
Musk, et al have done a great service to investors by stirring up a lot of interest in public companies in the space field. SPCE is the one that gets the headlines, but there are many other space-related stocks available. For starters, there is the Space ETF /zigman2/quotes/210596625/composite UFO -1.13% that includes Maxar /zigman2/quotes/201591991/composite MAXR -4.28% and Iridium Communications /zigman2/quotes/208839949/composite IRDM -0.45% amongst others. Although its hit some turbulence, Boeing /zigman2/quotes/208579720/composite BA -3.39% is working on space taxis with SpaceX. Leidos /zigman2/quotes/202902477/composite LDOS -2.19% works closely with NASA, as does Ball Aerospace, a division of Ball Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209031515/composite BLL +0.31% .
Boeing, Leidos, Ball and NASA have a common thread that that most investors don’t even know about yet: KULR Technology (otcqb:KULR). Pronounced “cooler,” the name is appropriate because the small San Diego-based company manufactures thermal management systems made out of carbon fiber for devices used in space. KULR’s products have been sent to Mercury, the International Space Station and are getting loaded up for their maiden voyage to Mars as part of the Perseverance Rover that will spend nearly two years scouring the red planet for signs of previous life.
Early Opportunity: KULR Technology Comes Down to Earth
KULR’s technologies – which include PCM (phase changing material) heat sinks, hydrothermal runaway shields for Lithium-ion battery packs, URSA Fiber Thermal Interface (FTI) products and more – is now starting to become commercialized on Earth in a number of industries.
“We’re very proud of our continued work to protect devices in space, but our strategy for the long-term success of our company is hinged on commercializing the technology,” said KULR CEO and co-founder Michael Mo in a phone conversation with Baystreet.ca. “Remember, our products operate perfectly under some of the most extreme conditions known to man, literally. We were confident that with a few modifications for any number of applications here on Earth that companies would be interested.”
“Now that we have initiated commercialization efforts, the reception indeed has been strong for uses where heat is a constant burden on performance or there is a threat of a fire or explosion with Li-ion batteries,” he added.
There Can’t Be That Many Li-ion Fires…Can There?
You may wonder how often there is an explosion or some other type of incident involving transportation of Li-ion batteries? At airports and on airplanes alone, an incident occurs once every 8 days, according to the FAA. Two years ago, faulty Li-ion batteries were to blame for a UPS truck going up in flames and a waste truck catching on fire.
Only a few weeks ago, BatteryFires.com reported that energy storage system fires caused by Li-ion batteries are “occurring with troubling frequency.” Just in Korea, more than 20 such fires happened in the last 12 months. Here, a unicycle burst into flames. The list of happenings goes on and on the world over..
One of the problems is the way that cells are all connected, albeit a hoverboard, EV or any other type of energy storage system. This video provides a little color on exactly what happens that leads to an explosion with overcharging. The same principles hold true for one faulty cell setting its neighboring cells ablaze.