Libra Group has launched the world’s first dedicated global space infrastructure leasing company. Building on the Group’s 20 years of experience in the aircraft leasing industry, Space Leasing International (SLI) will own and lease assets critical to the space economy.
SLI’s first investment includes the construction of a ground station in geospatially critical Alaska Arctic, which is vital to polar orbits that track climate change, for lease to Redmond, Washington-based operator RBC Signals. SLI has also committed to acquire or build an additional 20 ground stations around the world within the next three years, which will also be leased to RBC Signals as part of an ongoing business partnership. In the near future, SLI’s diversified portfolio of space assets will also expand into large and small assets vital to the space economy, including satellites, space ports and other space infrastructure.
According to The Space Foundation, today’s commercial space industry is growing rapidly, with the space economy expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2040. The European Space Agency highlights that the growth of the space industry has positive spill-over effects on many global sectors, such as transport, renewable energy, agriculture and urban development, and can help monitor crops, erosion and mitigate climate change. However, the development of the space sector may be constrained by the high costs associated with the creation and maintenance of space infrastructure and the limited supply of and access to space infrastructure.
By applying Libra Group’s proven leasing model used in its aviation and maritime subsidiaries, SLI is able to support and accelerate the space industry by bridging the gap between space asset manufacturers and managers. Currently, there are no lessors specialized in the full range of space assets. By adding a new role of a fully engaged owner/lessor to the value chain, SLI will support innovation and equipment creation while providing non-dilutive capital, taking an important step in scaling assets essential to the space economy.