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Blue Origin’s New Shepard crew (L-R) Jeff Bezos, Wally Funk, Oliver Daemen and Mark Bezos walk near the booster. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Blue Origin's successful flight is the rising-tide-lifts-all-boats story of the moment for the sector.

Why it matters: For investors, it doesn’t matter which billionaire hits space first. Recent headlines only generate more interest, some of which turns into investments — and that's good for companies that need cash.

What they're saying: Sending humans to space twice on largely privately funded enterprises in less than two weeks is unprecedented, Ken Herbert, managing director at Canaccord Genuity, tells Axios.

  • The Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic flights “validate what private capital is able to do,” he adds, and their success also points to a safety record that will support public confidence. 
  • Today’s mission "is likely an indication that achieving access to space can become a more regular event, which means (to my mind), that all of the ancillary companies that depend on space access can also be incrementally more likely to succeed," says Pete Skibitski, senior aerospace analyst at Alembic Global Advisors.

By the numbers: It’s not yet clear how much an individual seat will cost, but Bezos' larger goal is to get millions of people to work and live in space.

  • Meanwhile, Virgin Galactic is focused on space travel with ticket price estimates upward of $250,000. 
  • Bank of America and Canaccord analysts project it will take Virgin at least four years to break even or become profitable.

What to watch: Both Blue Origin and Virgin expect to launch more flights this year.

  • So far, investor interest for Virgin has come largely from the retail side, Herbert says, pointing to the stock’s volatility this year as a sign. 
  • More investment opportunities will materialize over the next two years when about a dozen new companies — including launch vehicle developers and space data companies — will come to the public market, says BofA's Ron Epstein. 

Go deeper

Oct 25, 2021 - Science

Blue Origin announces plan to develop commercial space station

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin on Monday unveiled plans to develop a commercial space station called "Orbital Reef."

Why it matters: The private space station, which will be nearly as large as the International Space Station, would be the first of its kind and comes amid growing interest in the private space industry.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Texas governor: "All hostages are out alive and safe"

SWAT team members deploy near the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Photo: Andy Jacobsohn/AFP via Getty Images

All four hostages have been safely released after a day-long standoff at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said on Saturday night.

The latest: "Around 9 p.m., the HRT — hostage rescue team — breached the synagogue, they rescued the three [remaining] hostages, the suspect is deceased," said police chief Michael Miller of Colleyville, located roughly 15 miles northeast of Fort Worth. The other hostage had been released earlier Saturday.

The new normal: Google searches reveal America's COVID shopping habits

Data: The New Normal; Google Trends; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

As the pandemic enters its third year, some of America's COVID-era shopping habits — including strong demand for tequila and sweatpants — are here to stay.

Driving the news: Axios worked with Google Trends and the Schema Design firm to create The New Normal, which analyzes the products Americans have Googled since 2020. Items with a lasting increase in search interest help fill in the details of what our "new normal" looks like.