Private Firm Boasts Moon Missions For $1.5bn
Golden Spike, a private firm founded by a team of former NASA executives has revealed it will be able to send people to the moon for a fee of $1.5bn. It will be able to offer countries two-man trips for either research or national prestige.
President at Golden Spike, Alan Stern said the company was in discussions with South Africa, South Korea and Japan among others. While it is quite clear that the United States will not be taking the firm up on its offer, since Barack Obama canceled its own NASA led return trip to the moon in recent years, Spike believes “It’s not about being first. It’s about joining the club,” and he wants to give other countries the opportunity to further research and development.
He also believes that Golden Spike will start where NASA left off and turn the missions into valuable commodities in the 2020s. The firm aims to launch its first mission by the end of the decade and is estimating it will carry out between 15 and 20 launches in total. The firm has revealed it will be buying existing rockets and capsules, meaning it will only need to develop new space suits and a lunar lander.
Meet The Team
Golden Spike is made up of a number of notable space veterans, giving it more credibility than some of the other companies purporting to be launching space missions in the near future.
The Board Chairman: Gerry Griffin, an ‘Apollo era’ flight director, who once headed the Johnson Space Centre is being supported by advisers including space shuttle veterans, Hollywood directors, the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the former UN ambassador Bill Richardson and the engineer-author Homer Hickam.
Alan Stern during his time at NASA
M&A activity key lever for future tech sector growth
Despite the continuing uncertainty of the pandemic, the tech sector has witnessed soaring dealmaking activity over the past year, rocketing in the second half of 2020, with the last quarter of 2020 a record one for M&A activity, and momentum continuing into 2021.
Dealmaking in tech sector soars in past year
And the latest figures bear this out with the number of technology M&A deals totalling US$208.44bn globally in Q1 2021, according to GlobalData. While the US holds top spot both in volume of deals (1034) and total value (US$140.61bn), Europe ranked next with 649 deals (US$44.49bn) with the UK continuing its reign as Europe’s biggest M&A market with 204 deals.
In particular, megadeals – those valued at US$5bn or more – soared in 2020 representing 59% of all global technology sector deal value in 2020, up from 47% in 2019, according to the latest edition of the EY Technology Global Capital Confidence Barometer.
This tech sector trend towards megadeals is backed up by EY’s CCB data, with 16% of tech sector respondents planning to pursue transformative deals valued at US$5bn or more in the near-term.
While technology deal activity “all but stopped at the beginning of 2020 after fluctuating between historic highs and lows, companies pivoted quickly and tech M&A exploded in the second half of the year”, says Barak Ravid, EY Global TMT Leader for Strategy and Transactions.
M&A activity level for tech sector growth
Looking ahead to the future, technology executives are optimistic, with nearly half (47%) expecting profitability to fully rebound this year, according to CCB data, compared to 23% across all sectors, and with more than half (51%) planning to pursue M&A in the next year in order to sustain growth.
According to Ravid, M&A activity is increasingly becoming a key lever for growth as businesses look to recover.
“To position themselves for future revenue growth, tech companies are now adjusting their M&A strategy to focus more on a target’s business resilience, digital technology alignment and to gain market share through consolidation,” says Ravid.
However, with an increasingly competitive deal market and ongoing geopolitical tensions, the majority of tech execs expect to see more competition in the bidding process for assets over the next year, primarily from private capital.