This article is admittedly speculative. But it is hardly far-fetched. KULR Technology Group Inc (OTCMKTS:KULR) has a proprietary solution, developed with NASA, for a very difficult problem: how to 3D print a passive propagation resistant (PPR) and internal short circuit (ISC) augmented battery that even works in space.
But let’s take a step back. The big idea here is about space commercialization at scale, and capital is lining up to enter this world. But this world demands manufacturing in space eventually leveraging coming materials that can be found on the moon or in earth orbit or further out.
The roadmap being laid down now is going to define space commerce for decades or even centuries to come, and it is guided by a simple fact: it’s expensive to send heavy materials into space.
The solution is to send light materials and good plans into space and then harvest heavy materials and assemble complex equipment via 3d printing technology.
An Ark in Space
That plan is already underway as a blueprint for long-term viable space-based commercial activity. And Cathie Wood’s newest Ark ETF, the ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF (ARKX), is set to be one of the primary avenues for capital allocation to the broad theme over the coming years.
The ETFs current holdings include a number of obvious candidates, including Trimble Inc (TRMB), JD.com Inc (JD), Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT), Iridium Communications Inc (IRDM), and Boeing Co (BA). But we expect this list to grow.
And one of its most important holdings right now is The 3D Printing ETF (PRNT), of which the ETF holds nearly 703k shares at over 6% of total weighting in the ARKX.
This last point is because the commercialization of space is likely to be enormously dependent on 3D printing, or space-based fabrication of equipment and resources for reasons described above.
Building the Story
In a recent piece posted to Benzinga (see here), Xia Zuoquan – a member of KULR’s advisory board and a key investor in the company – made a number of significant points about the critical role that 3D printing is expected to play in the process of commercializing space.
As we discussed, he noted that the cost of transferring an object to orbit is coming down, it’s still no easy task. It used to cost $54k to get one kilogram of mass beyond the gravitational pull of the Earth. With private investment and commercial activity, that has come down massively. But it still costs about $50k to put a single bowling ball into orbit.
And once it’s up there, getting to exactly where you need it is endlessly expensive. It’s way better to just 3D print the bowling ball in space.
The logistics are an additional matter. If you have a lot of stuff that needs to go to some specific spot in low earth orbit (“LEO”), then it might under some circumstances be worth a launch. But if you suddenly decide you need just one more bowling ball, you’re hardly going to get a whole launch team together and get folks on alert at Cape Canaveral.
Again: much, much better to just print it in space.
Since passive propagation resistant (PPR) and internal short circuit (ISC) augmented batteries will be very important in space no matter what you are doing, we can imagine a large and growing role for KULR Technology Group Inc (OTCMKTS:KULR) in space.
Given this, and its development partnership with NASA, as KULR gains further traction and eventually uplists onto a major exchange, one can imagine it being a very reasonable candidate for ARKX inclusion.