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Libra Group Embarks on Space Leasing with Arctic Ground Station
13:43 JST, June 29, 2023
LONDON (Reuters) — Libra Group said it aims to become the world’s first space leasing company offering satellites, space ports and other infrastructure, and is setting up a ground station in the Alaskan Arctic, vital for polar orbits that monitor climate change.
“There is no space leasing company,” George Logothetis, the executive chairman of Libra, an international business group active in 60 countries and commercial sectors including aerospace, shipping, renewable energy, hospitality and real estate, told Reuters.
“It’s a completely unique concept and we preserve our first mover advantage. Sooner or later someone is going to do it.”
The roughly $350 billion global space industry is poised for rapid growth and could surge to over $1 trillion by 2040, according to Morgan Stanley estimates. There is still limited infrastructure in place and the costs are massive.
Libra, which is privately owned by the Logothetis family, has set up Space Leasing International (SLI), which will own and lease assets critical to the space economy.
As part of its investments in assets that will be leased to U.S. satellite company RBC Signals, SLI will set up a ground station in the Alaskan Arctic, expected to be operational in two months.
It also plans a further 20 ground stations, including in the Southern Hemisphere, to be built and owned by SLI over the next three years and operated by RBC Signals.
“We want to be at the cutting edge of innovation,” Logothetis added.
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