Libra Group Launches Space Leasing Company to Capitalize on Growing Space Sector Market

Libra Group, a privately owned business conglomerate, has launched its latest venture to capitalize on the potential in the growing space economy. The new venture, Space Leasing International (SLI), aims to be the world’s first dedicated space leasing company. On June 20th SLI announced plans to acquire 21 ground stations over the next 3 years in partnership with RBC signals – a global ground station network organization. The first ground station is already in construction in the Alaska Arctic.

Libra Group touts a proven history leasing assets in the shipping & aviation industries, and wishes to extend their expertise into the burgeoning space industry through the formation of SLI. In addition to ground station services SLI plans to extend offerings in space to envelop satellites and launch pads as well. SLI plans to get an early start on what they see as a lucrative industry ready to grow: “Currently, there are no lessors dedicated to the full range of space assets. By adding a new role of a wholly dedicated owner/lessor into the value chain, SLI will support innovation and asset creation while providing non-dilutive capital, which is critical to scaling assets vital to the space economy.”

The announcement of Libra Group’s formation of SLI and its mission indicates the growing commercial interest in the space industry, which until recently has remained primarily the frontier for government efforts across the globe. The introduction of new commercial interests and capital to the industry poses additional cybersecurity risk for space assets as a whole. Regulations for the space industry haven’t had time to catch up to the goals and timelines for commercial ventures, and will likely leave space for security vulnerabilities to occur. Libra Group has previous experience in the maritime and aviation industries, and is aiming to position SLI to capitalize as a first offering for space asset leasing, but may not appreciate the additional security threats that will be present in an industry they are freshly cutting their teeth on. Additionally, their time crunch to retain first-mover advantage may also lead to oversights on cybersecurity which may leave their assets vulnerable to outsider threats or interception of data.

The combination of nascent regulation and inexperience in the space industry shows that SLI will need to take special care to protect their growing fleet of space assets from cybersecurity threats as well as the data and interests of the customers they plan to lease these assets and services to.